About SWEDA

Based in West Bromwich, we are a registered charity providing a range of services – fully funded by a wide spectrum of organisations – to the Black Country since 1989.

Over the past 30 years, we have developed our offering to encompass all walks of life – young mothers, the economically inactive, lone parents, long term unemployed, college leavers looking for their first role, welfare claimants, budding entrepreneurs, socially conscious enterprises, the technologically terrified.  We aim to help everyone who comes to us – either with the services we provide or to make introductions into organisations who we trust and know can help.

Our aim is to inspire and motivate you to achieve your full potential

We do this by assessing what needs someone has and what are the right services we can offer them from our four pillars

It may be that all four services are needed and our teams all work collaboratively to ensure that each individuals’ needs and personal circumstances are at the heart at very stage of their journey with us.

We are characterised by a sensitive non-judgmental approach, warmth and empathy. We aim to give the tools to help people make their own decisions, not to dictate a particular path. Our style of mentoring seeks to enable and empower clients, not to force them to be prematurely independent.

SWEDA was originally an informal network of women seeking to launch businesses who – at the time – often experienced a patronising attitude from traditional advice services.

A feasibility study, funded by the local authority, looked into offering a business advice service specifically for women.  We recognised that women had different barriers to starting their own enterprises – a lack of childcare support was one of the issues noted.

So SWEDA began offering a service during school hours, linking with local nurseries to provide childcare for younger children, and providing a play area in the meeting space when a client was accompanied by a child. This made the service much more accessible to mothers.

Over time, SWEDA recognised that there were other sections of society who required help and that, with an agile, motivated and experienced team, there was capacity to adapt the services on offer. We tapped into the funding streams that were available to be able to roll out schemes and projects to reach out to these groups who needed support.

We have always worked in partnership with other organisations – we have developed very strong relationships with the local authorities and other funding bodies who we rely on for funding and support.  As these associations have developed, we have often been approached with requests for help with services which we didn’t offer but could accommodate.  One of these for example, was the support in completing job applications, and we were quick to recognise the opportunity to offer support to disadvantaged job seekers. We are therefore agile in our ability to adapt our services and welcome opportunities from bodies to consider us for services which they need assistance with.

Contact:

The Business Centre, Church Street, West Bromwich, B70 8RP

0121 525 2558

sweda@sweda.org.uk

Charity No: 1158859