MORE than twice as many women than men are now launching new businesses in Cheshire West with the help of a start-up scheme.

Liverpool-based firm Blue Orchid runs the Cheshire West and Chester start-up programme, which is supported by the council.

The company has helped more than 500 budding entrepreneurs set up new businesses in the borough over the past decade.

But now the company is seeing more interest from women than men – and since March 1, 2018, more than two-thirds of the entrepreneurs it has worked with in Cheshire West are women.

Paul Ward, from Blue Orchid, said: “We are seeing more females come through looking to start a business or become self-employed than we are men.

“That has changed – it was roughly 50-50 for about seven or eight years, but I’d say that for the last 18 months or so we are starting to see more women at least enquiring about starting new businesses with us.”

Mr Ward added that the gender split in Cheshire West is similar to other areas of the country where Blue Orchid supports business start-ups.

The company has taken enquiries from 122 people looking to start new businesses in Cheshire West since last March – with 67 per cent of those being from women.

It has helped a total of 38 businesses launch across the borough in that time – with 68 per cent of those being run by women.

Cllr Gaynor Sinar, Conservative CWAC member for Davenham and Moulton, ran Spectrum Records opposite Northwich Library before selling it when becoming a mum.

She then went back into business 16 years ago by opening Curtain Magic, in High Street, and has not looked back since.

“I’m really pleased to see so many people taking charge of their own destinies,” Cllr Sinar said.

Northwich Guardian:

“Women can do really well being self-employed – a lot of my friends have got their own businesses – but there is no reason why men can’t do it either.

“But whoever is running the business, they can’t do it without support – whether it is from their family or partner.

“I know that my husband is behind me 110 per cent and makes sure everything happens at home.”

Of the businesses that have been opened, 17 offer ‘community, social and personal services’ – such as therapy, dog walking or beauty treatment.

Firms offering ‘business services’ are the next most popular start-ups, while other new companies include those in the retail, education and construction sectors.

Cllr Sinar, who is also founder of the Northwich Independent Retailers Association, believes the experience of running your own business is a rewarding one.

“I am 16 years into the job and now it is just like working for anybody,” Cllr Sinar added.

“When you start off it is a big leap of faith to not have that pay cheque at the end of the month – but it is worth it.

“A few businesses went under during the recession. They took a back step for a couple of years but they have gone back to it and are doing better than ever.”

For more information about the start-up programme, visit