We started with a big envelope. And we started writing notes on the back of it.

There are 5.4 million people in Scotland. Just over half (51%) are women, so that is 2.8 million. We can be pretty sure from the census that 64 per cent (1.8 million) of these women are aged 16-64 years. At a guess, we can say that the cohort for age group between 16-64 is 37,500 (i.e. 1.8 million divided by 48 years — which is the difference between 16-64). So if we decided WEvo was focused on 26-66 year olds, then there are 40 cohorts (i.e. 66-26) times 37,500 women in this aged bracket. This means 1.5 million women. We can be reasonably confident that around 23 per cent (338,000) of these women live in poverty. Most women who live in poverty manage perfectly well. (That doesn’t excuse poverty, it is just that most people are extremely resourceful and find a way through). But some may benefit from forming an SRG.

The question becomes, how many? Now we are really guessing. Let’s say 20 per cent of them. That would be 68,000 women in Scotland living in poverty who could gain from being part of the movement. How many of these women do we think might actually sign up. Let’s be super conservative and say one in ten. That is roughly 7,000 women each year, or 1,400 SRGs.

The excel (and numbers) table captures these calculations. It allows the user to change any of the white cells. The changes will be reflected in the grey cells. Maybe the analysis so far is too conservative or too optimistic. Put your own numbers in and see what happens. Or maybe a key variable is missing. Add it. Again see what happens.

The point is we are not talking about the tens of thousands of groups at the moment. Nor can we be happy with the 100 groups that exist.

We need to move up a gear. In the next entry we consider how to turn this advance into a series of manageable steps.