Gloucestershire women talk business over breakfast on International Women’s Day

(L-R): Laura Crabb and Luan Wise

(L-R): Laura Crabb and Luan Wise - Credit: Archant

“It’s been great to host this event and meet other women who have started their own enterprises or are leading in business.”

Women in business across Gloucestershire came together to celebrate International Women’s Day 2019 (IWD19) at the Queen’s Hotel, Cheltenham on Friday, March 8.

The breakfast event was led by small business community, Enterprise Nation and #SheMeansBusiness trainer, Luan Wise, who was joined by more than 20 local businesswomen.

The International Women’s Day event was part of the Facebook #SheMeansBusiness campaign which aims to deliver training, events and online courses to give women the support, advice and practical tools they need to grow their businesses. Together with the Federation of Small Businesses and Enteprise Nation, they have pledged to train 10,000 women across the UK each year.

Research by YouGov, on behalf of #SheMeansBusiness in 2018, found that women were more like to feel positive about their business and be inspired by being part of a network or business community, which was one of the motivations for hosting today’s event along with the online #SheMeansBusiness group for Gloucestershire that Luan hosts.

“International Women’s Day has been a significant milestone for my own business,” said Luan, who is one of the UK’s accredited trainers for the campaign.

“I was spotted by LinkedIn’s PR agency back in 2015 as one of the top five female marketers in the UK for their #LinkedInBestConnected social campaign for International Women’s Day also which led to me writing and delivering content for their global LinkedIn Learning platform.

“It’s been great to host this event and meet other women who have started their own enterprises or are leading in business. It’s always inspiring to network with others and take time out to share knowledge and ideas.”

One the women attending the event, Katy McCarthy, Communications and Engagement Advisor at the Environment Agency said, “It’s been really nice to see all these supportive women in one room together, all talking freely and openly about their challenges in business and how it affects them personally and professionally. I’ve just started a new role in a new organisation and the support of the ladies here today will really help me on my journey.”

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Women’s contribution to the economy

Figures produced by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) in November 2018 suggest that business owned by women contribute around £105 billion to the UK economy (2015 figures), up from an estimated £75 billion in 2012, an increase of 40%.

They are also providing more jobs - with employment in businesses owned by, or led by, women now accounting for an estimated 23.85% of private sector employment in the UK.

“It’s great to see such a strong increase in the contribution to the UK economy made by female led businesses and I only hope that even more women rise to the challenge to enter the serious business arena and fulfil their potential so that it won’t be long before there is a 50:50 gender split,” said Barbara Stopher, business mentor and Non-Executive Director of Hobbs House Bakery, who attended the event at the Queen’s.

Women (and men) are invited to follow the #SheMeansBusiness UK page on Facebook and join the #SheMeansBusiness Gloucestershire Facebook group, hosted by Luan, where they can network online and find out about events and training that is of value to their business.

Find out more about the #SheMeansBusiness campaign here.

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