Startup and Stilettos – The Future is Female

Our Vision

Marking a turning point in history and empowering girls and women to feel confident and training them to acquire skills to take practical steps towards a future that will enable them to transcend the barriers that have, perhaps hitherto, held them back and that shows them that however difficult the present moment, the major trends of our time are ultimately on their side. The Future is Female.

What is Startup and Stilettos?

Through a passion to support girls and women to prosper, we launched Startup and Stilettos in 2013- programmes to raise self-esteem, providing the hands-on support, tools and training to achieve full potential in life skills, (social) enterprise and employment.

Largely split into 4 different strands:

  • Bootcamps for adult women – working in partnership with a myriad of organisations
  • Younger girls – working with schools building confidence and skills
  • Women in corporate settings – excel, be counted and give back
  • Women in the Middle East – tailored programmes for Arab women delivered in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain predominantly.

Although the strands will vary in content, they are centred around a tailored approach to skills Bootcamps, using creative methods such as Persian dance (which is both feminine and fun), inspirational mentors and speakers as well as enterprise incubators designed to specifically support women to launch their own businesses.

Startup and Stilettos for Vulnerable Adult Women

Startup and Stilettos, delivered in partnership with Women’s Charity College; Hillcroft College, is a highly successful 2-month programme supporting women from complex backgrounds (such as ex-offenders, victims of domestic violence and homeless women) to develop core life skills to launch their own social enterprise. In the first month we work with the 25 women, covering all the key modules such as mapping the community, leadership and learning about social enterprise. During the month that follows, the women have to work independently (a key component to the success of the programme), before coming back for the week-end in the second month to shape their social enterprise concepts and learn about nitty-gritty logistics in business. We invite successful female social entrepreneurs to deliver a 1 hour masterclass to the women on expert topics. We’ve been overwhelmed with the positive effects that the programme has had on the participants- which each time has been over-subscribed. Our vision is to expand the programme across geographic locations and currently looking for partners to do this.

The Startup and Stilettos evaluation, found that:

  • 100% of participants would recommend Startup and Stilettos to others
  • 100% of women said the Bootcamp improved their lives considerably
  • 81% of participants after the programme, said they felt ready to launch their own social enterprise
  • 94% of participants rated the Bootcamp as outstanding or good
  • 96% already feel in a better position to progress their career after session 1


Case Study

Name: Susannah

Background: Was born in Nigeria but came to the UK as a child, but had a lot of difficulties in school with English as well as being dyslexic.  She left school with no GCSE’s and decided to go into catering, but due to a bad fall she was unable to do the job anymore and had to rethink her work options.  She had always been interested in food related work but wasn’t sure how to get started.

Social enterprise idea: Creating a blend of spices for meat and vegetables with a social mission of supporting motherless babies in Nigeria.

Progress: On the first day of Startup and Stilettos- she put her hand up to say that this wasn’t for her. Melody asked her to stay til the end of the day. Not only did Susannah complete the 2 month course, but she has done so much more! Susannah finally understood how to develop and package her idea, as well as this, she took further courses on photoshop, programming for business as well as excel courses to support her business idea.

After a mere 2 months of completing the course, she registered her spices, got a licence and has booked 3 stalls to sell, as well as working on a simple website. In this short time, she was so proud to be nominated for the enterprise of the year award, and was able to attend the event and network, which encouraged her to continue on developing her own skills and her product.

New Course Available: Social Media Bootcamp!

A new Bootcamp delivered by social media gurus at InspirEngage International! We’ll be covering everything from Instagram, Twitter and Facebook- how to use it, the value of using it and why it fits for business. The Bootcamp includes:

  • Introduction to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for beginners
  • How to use it to get your message heard and connect to the bigger world
  • How to use online social media for business/projects to make money
  • An interactive social campaign task with a prize!
  • An InspirEngage/ Hillcroft College certification upon completion of the course


If you’re an individual- stay connected for opportunities on our courses. If you’re a college/ corporate / organisation, do get in touch about becoming a host for Startup and Stilettos to help women in your networks. 





For all enquiries or bookings, email:

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