[Photo: Several half faces with their hands up]

Helping businesses to start up, grow and thrive

Inova promotes enterprise by encouraging and supporting individuals to follow their dreams and start up in business. We work predominantly with sole traders and small business owners to help individuals progress through the initial stages of start-up and continue on to run a successful business to suit their needs. Inova provides Mentoring Circles™, one to one mentoring sessions and individualised coaching and personality profiling all aimed at enabling individuals to better understand their strengths and weaknesses and reflect on skills and attitudes on their journey into business start-up or growth.

Inova’s specialist experience is in supporting women and BAME (Black and Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurs) to start up or further develop their businesses. We are also working with individuals from disadvantaged communities to provide support for business start-up through coaching and mentoring.

Please see below for our portfolio of completed projects in this area.

We also have current UK and International enterprise projects.


Inova was the UK partner in this Leonardo da Vinci Transfer of Innovation project (2010-2012). This project aimed to foster closer links between VET practice and working life, and focused on supporting female entrepreneurship. Partners in Turkey, Italy, Slovakia and the UK came together to share knowledge and develop a course aimed at fostering entrepreneurship in women.



Empowering Women

Inova was the UK partner in this Leonardo da Vinci partnership project, sharing best practice in the field of women and entrepreneurship, particularly focusing on women starting or running businesses in Science, Engineering and Technology. Partners from Iceland, Italy, UK and Estonia came together for workshops between 2010 and 1012 to exchange best practice and programme information about their field of expertise.


FEMALE: Female Entrepreneurs Metoring and Lifelong Learning across Europe

Inova was the Contractor and Co-ordinator in this Transfer of Innovation project funded through the Leonardo da Vinci's Lifelong Learning Programme. Partners from UK, Malta, Cyprus, the Netherlands and Italy came together from 2010-2012 to encourage wider numbers of women facing double disadvantages to start up in business. Inova further spread its Mentoring Circles™ to these new countries as an intervention to support women who are thinking of starting their own business.




Inova was the UK partner in this Transfer of Innovation project, funded through the Leonardo da Vinci's Lifelong Learning Programme from the European Commission (2008-2010). The project transferred the methodology developed by the University of Halmstad (Sweden) regarding developing entrepreneurship within the university curriculum, particularly for female undergraduates in SET (Science, Engineering and Technology) to partner countries. Website


Inova was the UK partner in this DG Enterprise and Industry project (2009-2011), led by Intercollege in Cyprus. The project included six partners from Cyprus, Greece, Estonia, Italy and the UK. Women@Business supported and promoted entrepreneurship amongst female undergraduates and recent graduates through a number of interventions including Mentoring Circles, Training the Trainers and Placements for females with female-owned SMEs across Europe.Website


Inova was a partner in this European Innovation project running from 2008-2010 which developed a tool to assist SMEs (small and medium sized enterprises) to develop marketing materials and strategic approaches which helps them to compete more effectively within the single European market. Website

Enterprise Circles™ for Women Starting Up in Business

Inova provided Enterprise Circles™ to women wanting to start up in business as part of the BiG programme. The Enterprise Circles™ placed four/five women all going through similar experiences and wanting to start up in business with an experienced female mentor in order to provide group support, share successes and combat the isolation that many women can feel when setting up a business alone.

Enterprise Circles™(PDF, 59Kb)

Mentoring Programme for Women Starting Up in Business

Inova developed a mentoring programme for women across South Yorkshire to help women start up a business, providing Awareness Workshops, Mentoring Circles™ and Mentoring Pairs. We helped 65 women over a one year period to gain essential confidence and self-reflection skills in order to start up or grow their business.  Case Study (PDF, 82Kb)

Accelerator Growth Programme for Women Business Owners

Inova developed a programme combining Mentoring Circles™, business skills workshops and individualised professional advice sessions for women in South Yorkshire who had been in business between two to five years and who were either feeling ‘stuck’ or needing support to move their businesses forward and keep thriving. We helped women participants to gain skills, greater confidence and self-reflection, develop their business strategies as well as widening their networks of successful business women in the region. Case Study (PDF, 122Kb)

Encouraging Entrepreneurship in University Students

Inova works with universities to run workshops to raise awareness of the opportunities entrepreneurship offers and to encourage students to consider setting up in business as a career option.  We also provide Personality Profiling to graduates who have set up in business but who feel they are now at a crossroads in development.

Networking and Mentoring for Female Entrepreneurs

Inova co-founded SYFEN (South Yorkshire Female Entrepreneur’s Network) with Beta Technology to provide women across the region with access to other inspiring women in business through regular networking events. Inova helped over 200 women to start up or develop their businesses through SYFEN, running Mentoring Circles™, Awareness Workshops and Mentoring Pairs.Case Study (PDF, 99Kb)

Mumpreneurs in Action

Inova was the Co-ordinator of this European partnership funded by Grundtvig to bring together organisations from across Europe with expertise in entrepreneurship to share best practice on encouraging and supporting greater numbers of mums to start up their own business.




Inova was the Co-ordinator of this European partnership project funded by Leonardo da Vinci which shared knowledge and experiences linked to encouraging more women to explore the career opportunities provided by social enterprise.



Free Online Course for Entrepreneurs!

success stories

"We got lots of help and advice through Mentoring Circles."
[Photo: Jessica Zeun]

Jessica Zeun, JD Approach

women in SET

Find out about our work with women in Science, Engineering and Technology.