With guest panellists Soulaima Gourani, Founder and CEO of Women Reignite; Neha Tanna, Investment Partner of Joyance Partners & Social Starts; Tracy Chou, Founder and CEO of Block Party; Leila McKenzie Delis, Founder and CEO of DIAL Global and Managing Director of LMA Search and Research
What inspires founders to start up their ventures? Inspirational stories of successful founders can give hope and motivate entrepreneurs starting out. But the entrepreneurship journey is far from smooth. At this session, a diverse group of female entrepreneurs will share their powerful stories of how they overcame obstacles on the road to success. They will explain the ideation process, what motivated the decision to go it alone as sole founders or how they chose co-founders and how they navigated the start-up ecosystem to raise funding. The panel will include women founders in under-represented sectors e.g., tech industry and venture capital, as well as women from ethnic minorities. The entrepreneurs will discuss how they used social capital to build their businesses and discuss their experiences with accelerators/ Incubators vs being independent. Finally, we will hear their views about women’s networks and mentoring.
With guest panellists, Zoe Peden, tech entrepreneur and VC Investor, FutureWorldVC, Helene Martin-Gee Founder of Pink Shoe and Angela Malik-Agarwal, Partner in Think Hospitality and Founder of Planet Nourish
Entrepreneur as a word derives from the French in its masculine form (f: entrepreneuse). This sets the scene for so many of the challenges women entrepreneurs faced and continue to face. The playing field is not even for all! With women only receiving one per cent of all available venture capital (VC) funding in the UK – how can it be?
In this session, we will explore the context in which female entrepreneurs operate including the impact of COVID-19 on women entrepreneurs. As women entrepreneurs and their businesses are predominantly present in the 3Cs (care, catering, and cleaning sectors) as well as retail which are among the hardest hit by the pandemic both from a health and financial perspective. And yet women are not victims! They are creative, resilient, skilled entrepreneurs, creating and scaling great businesses, many of them with a valuable social impact. What are their motivations and how do they stay resilient through the ups and downs? We will also do some myth busting around the youth and unicorn culture dominating entrepreneurship currently – which may also be putting many women off becoming entrepreneurs in the first place!
With guest panellists, Emma Sinclair MBE, Co-Founder of EnterpriseAlumni, Addie Pinkster, CEO of Adelpha Group, and Aleksandra Pedraszewska, Co-founder & COO of VividQ
Numerous pieces of research show the link between female leaders and stronger financial performance, greater employee productivity and collaborative ways of working. Yet, in the UK, only 25 per cent of businesses have a female founder and only 11 per cent are all-female led. We are missing out on an opportunity to build bigger, better businesses and ultimately more growth for the economy. This session will focus on the how. We will explore the lifecycle challenges from startup to scale-up to exit and how this interacts with the entrepreneur’s personal journey. COVID-19 has shone a light on the importance of agility and being able to pivot and repurpose. We will pick up on how entrepreneurs have navigated this pandemic as well as the importance of culture, business resilience and the role of governance.
With keynote speaker, William Lowe, Co-founder and Master Distiller of Cambridge Distillery
From the humblest of beginnings as the smallest distillery in the country, Cambridge Distillery has evolved from a living-room man-and-wife venture to set a globally recognised international standard for premiumisation of gin. In this talk William Lowe, Co-founder and Master Distiller, will discuss how he and his wife identified and serviced a previously unexplored niche in the drinks industry, grew from startup to respected SME with over 40 employees, and overcame the challenges of growth in the face of established competition.