Client:Women in Rural Enterprise (WIRE) and the Women of The Royal Duchy
Date:May 01, 2015

Women in Rural Enterprise (WIRE) and the Women of The Royal Duchy

We’ve worked with Women in Rural Enterprise (based at Harper Adams University) a number of times since we were founded. This has included offering training to their core team, and also designing and running their national conference and leader training event, including sessions on action learning and growth groups. Each of these activities involved developing high impact sessions tailored to the needs of rural women.


Fiona Davies of WIRE said: “Ruby Star have worked with WiRE on and off for many years, we find them a pleasure to work with….. Intuitive and creative, bringing a wide range of expertise to any situation. They are flexible in their approach and creative in the way they seeks solutions. They demonstrate a high degree of integrity and are excellent networker’s speakers, trainers and workshop leaders. Isla gave a keynote at our national conference where the feedback was “overwhelmingly fabulous” – highly recommended “


Polly Gibb of Wire said: “we’ve had terrific results and feedback every time.”


Anna Goodwin, a participant said: “I was very lucky over the last few days to be in several Ruby Star workshops. They were thoroughly enjoyable but also thought provoking. I feel that I have moved forward massively. Thanks”


As part of our on-going involvement with WIRE Ruby Star Associates were selected by WIRE to run a pilot programme with the women of the Royal Duchy estates. The Duchy was keen to support the women living and working on Duchy estates to start, grow and sustain businesses (many of which are diversified farm-based businesses). The training, held on the Duchy estate covered Marketing, Sales, Business Growth and Leadership. Following extremely positive feedback, and great outcomes for the entrepreneurs involved the pilot programme will now be extended to a further 7 Duchy Estates.


Feedback from the pilot courses was extremely positive, with participants reporting they had not previously experienced training which was so engaging, and so relevant and tailored to their specific needs.


WiRE business manager, Fiona Davies said: “There are some fantastic and diverse businesses being run by women across the Duchy Estates and this initiative is a great opportunity for them to not only grow their businesses but to tap into the expertise that already exists and support each other as their businesses grow. The first event was energetic and noisy with the attendee’s committing to make changes in their business as a result of the newly learnt skills��


As a result of our links with WIRE and the Duchy we’ve written a number of articles about Farm Diversification and the challenges for rural businesses for the Farmer’s Guardian, and were asked to run sessions as part of their inaugural “Business of Farming” conference in Worcester. The session covered Sales skills, and the challenges of moving from a predominantly agribusiness-to-agribusiness world into business-to-business or business-to-consumer sales for diversified businesses.