Call For Women To Take 'Start Up' Challenge

MP Mary Macleod encourages women at Chiswick seminar

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More than eighty women attended a seminar at Chiswick Park, hosted by Enjoy-Work on Friday 11th January to find out about setting up their own business. This was the second ‘Entrepreneurial Women – Taking the Start-up Challenge’ event organised by local MP Mary Macleod. women attended the informal session to hear speakers advise them on all aspects of how they could set up their own businesses.

The MP for Brentford and Isleworth said; “Women lag behind men in setting up their own businesses and I would like to see that imbalance redressed. I think it could be an area of real growth and I hope women will be inspired by this seminar today.”

“ Hopefully this seminar will be the first step on your journey,” she told the women.

Speakers from organisations including Enjoy Work at Chiswick Business Park, the Brentford Chamber of Commerce, Metro Bank, and the Prince's Trust were on hand to give advice. Speakers from StartUp Britain, The Prince’s Trust and MetroBank gave practical advice on the “do’s and don’ts” of setting up a business and the finance and support available to women.

The President of the Brentford Chamber of Commerce also spoke about benefits of networking and the support available for local businesses there. Suzie commented: "It was a fantastic event and I was inspired by the imagination and potential of good businesses ideas put forward. Already the Brentford Chamber is actively involved in developing business proposals with many of the women who attended."

London-based entrepreneur, Jessica Rose, Founder and Director of the London Jewellery School also told the story of how she overcame numerous challenges along the way to create a successful business with a half a million pound turnover.

Mary Macleod commented: “I am a passionate believer in women in business and was impressed to see so many women at last week’s event from a whole range of ages and backgrounds – we clearly have a large number of budding female entrepreneurs outthere and I want to do everything I can to help them on their way. Only 15% of small and medium-sized businesses in the UK are led by women right now and over 150,000 start-ups would be created if women started businesses at the same rate as men. There is so much support available now for those who want to set up their own business but it can be a scary prospect and you need to know where to go for help.

I hope these events will help share that knowledge, build local networks and create some future success stories. It’s not just about getting more women to set up businesses – it’s about making sure they are the right businesses and that they continue to grow and prosper. The line up of speakers included;

  • Kay Chaston Chief Executive of Chiswick Park, Enjoy-Work
  • Jessica Rose Founder and Director of the London Jewellery School
  • Helen Roberts Champion for Richmond, StartUp Britain
  • Charlotte Brady Local Business Manager at MetroBank
  • Francesca Taylor The Prince’s Trust
  • Suzie Betlem President of Brentford Chamber of Commerce
  • In 2012, there were 4.8 million businesses in the UK, 4.6 million of these (96%) were micro-businesses employing 0-9 people. Micro-businesses account for 32% of employment and 20% of UK turnover but only 15% of SMEs are female-led.
  • 150,000 start-ups would be created per year in this country if women started businesses at the same rate as men. And if women in the UK started businesses at the same rate as those in the US, there would be approximately 600,000 extra women-owned businesses, contributing an estimated £42 billion to the economy.

(Left to Right): Suzie Betlem, President of Brentford Chamber of Commerce; Francesca Taylor, Prince’s Trust; Charlotte Brady, MetroBank; Mary Macleod MP; Helen Roberts, StartUp Britain; Jessica Rose, Founder and Director of the London Jewellery School


January 17, 2013