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As we celebrate Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, we are reminded of some of the amazing projects and businesses, founded or fronted by fantastic women, that have been supported by Pen y Cymoedd funding recently.

That Coco Company, an amazing shop in Aberdare Town Centre selling handmade eco-friendly coconut wax candles.

Ladies of the Lake is the first female choir in the Rhondda for some time. With the group forming not long before COVID Pandemic hit, they have done a fantastic job keeping the group together, with over 30 members signed up as restrictions eased. Pen y Cymoedd were proud to support such a resilient group with a micro fund of £2,689.95 to help establish themselves further and plan for their next steps.

Claire at Sew Sew Happy spent lockdown learning new skills and extended these to her family and friends in Cilfrew. The more and more people she spoke to, it was clear there was not only a need to help others learn some essential sewing skills, but that people wanted somewhere to go to meet and socialise with other like minded people close by. Pen y Cymoedd supported Sew Sew Happy with a micro fund grant of £2,636.80 to purchase some sewing machines to start weekly classes in Clifrew, whilst also brining people together to socialise and share skills. The sessions have become so popular that Sew Sew Happy have purchased more equipment to welcome more people to the group, whilst now running a beginner and intermediate classes.

A group of friends with the skills and passion for mountain biking wanted to host something special in the Afan Valley, bringing bikers from all across the UK – with extensive research and planning, Sisters of Send weekend festival was formed! The women not only presented the Board with impressive plans, but brought in UK wide known brands to be apart of the weekend mountain biking festival, whilst supporting local businesses in the Afan Valley and surrounding areas.

Already running a successful clothes boutique in Treorchy, Emily Kate approached the fund with a vision of opening a bridal boutique in same town. The fund supported the new business with a Vision grant and loan of £22,926. This funding, along with own funds and other investment meant that despite the challenge of getting a business ready during the pandemic, she was able to launch Emily Kate Bridal a few weeks ago. The bridal store looks incredible and will serve local people as well as bringing many new visitors to the high street in Treorchy.