Local Women Take The Start-Up Challenge

Mary Macleod encouraging women to start their own businesses

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(L-R) Naheed N.,Fiona H-F, Mary Macleod, Sally S., Heidi R. and Helen R.

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More than fifty local women demonstrated interest in enterprise by attending a seminar last week organised by local MP Mary Macleod. Hosted by Barclays, the event welcomed women of all ages and backgrounds to find out more about starting-up a business.

Speakers from Start-Up Britain, The Prince’s Trust and Barclays addressed the busy conference room on the advice, finance and support available to women looking to set up a business. Successful local entrepreneur, Fiona Hamilton was also present to provide first-hand advice about the challenges and rewards of embarking on a business venture.

The session marks the launch of Mary’s project ‘Entrepreneurial Women: Taking the Start-Up Challenge’ which aims to highlight the valuable contribution women could make to the economy by starting a business. The speakers included   Fiona Hamilton-Fairley, founder of Kids Cookery School; Heidi Richards of The Prince's Trust; Sally Smith, Hounslow Chambers of Commerce; Helen Roberts, local representative of Start-Up Britain, and Naheed Niazi, of Barclays Bank.

Mary Macleod commented: “I was very impressed to see that we have such a high number of enterprising residents from a variety of backgrounds. I know from feedback that the valuable advice on offer has spurred on several women to take their business ideas to the next level. Even such a simple thing as highlighting the number of resources available to women has been hugely helpful.

The enthusiasm and combined experience of everyone present gives me great hope that we will see some successful entrepreneurs emerge from this area! The overwhelming positive response to the Start-Up challenge shows that there is clearly a local appetite for enterprise and I will be arranging similar sessions elsewhere in the constituency. There are many local women with huge potential and excellent experience and could make a real success of creating their own business.”

Naheed Niazi, Barclays Business Manager said: “In my career at Barclays I have helped many women start successful businesses that have flourished and grown but I know there are many more women out there with great ideas but without the confidence to take the first step. I’d recommend anyone with a business idea talk to one of the many agencies who are around who are well placed to help and advise on how to take ideas and turn them into successful businesses.”

Entrepreneurial Women: Taking the Start-Up Challenge was held at Barclays, Hounslow High St on Friday 15th June from 08:30-10:00 and attended by over 50 local women.

June 19, 2012