WOMEN working as freelancers across the North West are accessing new opportunities thanks to a programme launched by IN4.0.

East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce members IN4.0 specialise in providing digital skills consultancy and hope that the FreelanceHER 100 programme will help to address gender imbalances in the media, digital and technology sectors while also helping women who may have lost their jobs during the pandemic.

A great example to women who join the programme is Naomi Timperley, FreelanceHER 100 programme director and Computer Weekly most influential woman in UK Technology 2020.

She said “I lost my full-time job during the first month of the first lockdown and went back to freelancing.

"Working as the programme lead on FreelanceHER 100 has been a labour of love.

"I relate to everyone who has signed up for the programme and I am extremely excited to start.

"I look forward to welcoming the cohort and helping them start their freelancing careers.”

The fully funded programme, launched in November 2020 by IN4.0 with Salford-based technology hub The Landing, begins its twelve week run this week.

It will give110 women access to weekly workshops and peer to peer mentoring conducted by some of the UK’s most prominent female micro-businesses and freelance professionals.

FreelanceHER 100 is also supported by an online community platform from My2Be, while peer to peer mentoring will be led by experts including Viv Parry, board advisor and finance director of Daletech Electronics, and Annette Joseph, Diverse & Equal Founder.

IN4.0 Group CEO Mo Isap said: “We have made a commitment to supporting those who have been impacted by the pandemic.

"FreelanceHER 100 will champion and help make real the dreams of entrepreneurial women many of whom are from a BAME background, the demographic hardest hit by the pandemic, in the challenging task of setting up as freelancers and business owners.

"Many have lost their jobs to Covid but have turned adversity into opportunity, which we will help them realise.

“I am excited and very proud for us now to be starting the programme, I know we are going to have some amazing successes to celebrate very soon."

Sarah Townsend, author of Survival Skills for Freelancers, added her voice to those praising the programme's work.

She said: “As a FreelanceHER 100 ambassador and mentor I’m excited to get stuck in and meet the amazing women we’re supporting!

"These are tough times for businesses everywhere, so I’m delighted to be involved in a programme that has the power to bring about not only hope but tangible positive change.”

To find out more, including how to apply for future programmes, go to: https://www.thelanding.org.uk/freelanceher100/.