The first few weeks in ReTweed’s ‘Business Incubator'

Business incubator

Say ‘Hello’ to Nichola, Lucy, Pauline, Sarah and Roz, our first intake of business incubator participants. Each of these women have their own individual and creative ideas they want to turn into a business, so you’ll be seeing more and more of them over the next few months!

Our fully equipped business hub has 5 workstations and includes two industrial sewing machines and an industrial overlocker. Through taking part in the ReTweed’s business incubator, participants can book the use of a workstation for two days per week.

The business hub is fully equipped with all the equipment necessary to set up a creative enterprise, including industrial machines.

Participants also take part in an advanced training course to further develop their technical sewing skills and enable them to take on some commission work brokered by ReTweed. Producing items such as these is an opportunity for the women to earn an immediate income to bridge the poverty gap many start-up businesses face while they’re developing their business idea but before they’ve established a sufficient customer base to provide a secure income.


Appliqué cushions designed by Alyson and taught by Jill, soon to be sold in The Scottish Parliament shop.

Over the last few weeks participants have learnt to make tartan ties and bowties to fulfil orders on behalf of International Tartans; thistle appliqué purses for Design & Alter a leading London tailor; and Scottie dogs and thistle appliqué cushions which will soon be stocked in the Scottish Parliament shop.

Old sewing machine

Appliqué purses designed and commissioned by Design & Alter.

In addition to advanced technical sewing training, the women will also take part in a bespoke entrepreneur training programme delivered by ReTweed in partnership with Scottish Borders Business Gateway. This training programme develops the necessary business skills to be successful in their new ventures and includes: 1:1 support for business planning; bookkeeping; social media marketing; retail, sales and pricing; presentation, communication and negotiation skills; time management; and health, wellbeing and personal development.

Despite the intensive support and training through the advanced sewing training and entrepreneur training programmes, the most valuable support will likely be the mutual support they provide each other as they all work toward the same goal of setting up their own creative enterprise business together.

We are currently recruiting for our next intake of business incubator participants who we will bring in over the Autumn period, so if you’ve got a creative enterprise idea you’d like to develop into your own business, email or call Hazel on 07732014893 or 01890 751 758 to arrange a discussion with us.


This blog post was written by Rachel Parker – ReTweed Marketing and Communications Officer

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