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An Auction of Promises: Lancaster Fundraising Event for Women Business Startups

On the 20th May 2022, The Growing Club CIC are organising a fundraising event – an Auction of Promises – where donated promises are auctioned off, with money raised to create a Seed Fund to support women’s business start-up costs.

The initial target amount hoped to be raised from the Auction of Promises is £10,000. Promises already donated include photography tuition, a small private cinema for an evening’s hire, nights away in the lake district, bespoke tailoring services and much more. A silent auction is being held beforehand, visit The Growing Club’s Facebook page for a full list of the promises available


There is less support than ever for women on benefits to enter into self-employment. Until December 2021, the Department for Work and Pensions offered the New Enterprise Allowance scheme. This provided both mentoring and financial support for those starting out as self-employed.

In 2010, one of The Growing Club’s founders, Jane Binnion, was an unemployed single parent after being made redundant. It was through the support of the New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) that Jane was able to start her business. There was also a grant that enabled her to buy a laptop and business essentials, and for 12 months there was £40-a-week benefit support that helped her to feed her family while the business grew.

Over the years, financial support has been reduced, but on the 31st of December 2021, with almost no acknowledgement, the NEA ceased to exist. Support is only now available in the form of a loan, with many women being reluctant to take on more debt.

The possible outcome is that if we don’t take action going forward, it will only be women with capital that will be able to start businesses. Women trapped within the benefits system will have another exit route blocked, meaning regardless of their knowledge, skill and experience, they will once again be left behind.

The Growing Club have advocated for all women to use their skills to strive towards financial independence – be that via employment or self-employment – and this Auction of Promises event will enable us to build a Seed Fund to help reduce the barriers to achieving that.


What? An Auction of Promises
When? 20th May 2022, 19.00hrs – 23.00hrs
Where? The Gregson Centre, 33-35 Moor Gate, Lancaster, LA1 3PY.

Tickets are available on Eventbrite, the link can be found here:

If you are interested in offering your own promise, please contact [email protected].

Alternatively, you can call the office at 01524 383848 and your donated promise can be logged over
the phone.

Everyone who donates a promise will receive a free ticket to the event!

We really hope this has sparked your interest, and to see you there.


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