Silai for Skills – Sewing the Seeds of Small Business in Bristol

  • Silai for Skills was created with the aim of giving women the right training to earn a decent living from their craft, but also the confidence to set up their own businesses if they wanted to do so.

From Founder, Aroona Smith:

  • “We were able to rent premises where women could come on a daily basis to further their skills, build their self- confidence and learn everything that was necessary to set up their own business or just improve their quality of life. We now offer everything from fashion design courses to upholstery and many women have gone on to set up successful businesses of their own. It can be daunting at first, especially if time is an issue because of other family commitments, but we are one of the few places to offer free childcare for those on courses.”
  • ‘Many of the women we help have been refugees or asylum seekers and Silai gives them a way of learning English, integrating into the community and making friends at the same time as developing or learning a skill.’
  • The project has been very successful at helping women overcome cultural barriers, and broaden their horizons and ambitions.

Information and Media taken from the Silai website @: &

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