One hundred female entrepreneurs from across the UK were celebrated at a special reception at the House of Lords on International Women’s Day, hosted by Small Business Britain, to recognise their strong contribution to the UK.
The afternoon event spotlighted accomplished female business owners running a variety of mission-driven businesses, who are being championed as part of Small Business Britain’s ƒ:Entrepreneur campaign. This initiative presents an annual line-up of 100 exceptional women making a significant contribution to society, economy and communities, called the ‘IAlso100’.
Among the 100 celebrated was Lauren Higgins, founder of nationwide network Northern Girls’ Club, an initiative dedicated to raising the aspirations of Northern women, as well as Alexandra Birtles, who founded tech-for-good start-up In Good Company, which aims to make it easy for conscious consumers to find ethical, for-good small businesses.
Also featured was Allegra Chapman, who founded Watch This Sp_ce in Manchester, a consultancy that helps organisations understand where they are in terms of diversity and inclusion, and create an action plan to improve.
Attendees enjoyed afternoon tea and networking in Westminster, meeting other founders from across the country, as well as hearing from special guest speakers Seema Malhotra MP, Shadow Minister for Small Business and Consumers, and entrepreneur Lucy Griffiths, a business coach and former TV reporter covering the war in Ukraine in 2014, who paid tribute to the power of female entrepreneurship.
Seema Malhotra MP said, “As the Shadow Minister for Business and Consumers, I am passionate about seeing that we do all we can to make Britain the best place to start and grow a business. I was very proud to join Small Business Britain and 100 female entrepreneurs in parliament to celebrate International Women’s Day, to hear their stories, learn from their achievements and recognise the huge contribution of women-led businesses to our economy. They are an inspiration and tackling the barriers women entrepreneurs face is central to how we grow our economy.”
The f:Entrepreneur campaign was launched in 2017 to highlight the stories of amazing female business owners and help provide inspiration and role models across the wider small business community. Delivered by Small Business Britain – the leading champion of small businesses in the UK – the campaign is now in its sixth year, the campaign reflects how female entrepreneurs continue to thrive in the UK despite the challenges of the past years, with many scaling or starting new ventures.
Michelle Ovens CBE, Founder of Small Business Britain and the ƒ:Entrepreneur campaign said: “Female entrepreneurs are a hugely powerful force across the UK, with an inspiring ability to build fantastic businesses, often with a huge sense of mission and passion behind them. It was wonderful to celebrate all of the phenomenal women involved in this year’s f-entrepreneur campaign at the House of Lords.
“With the rise in the number of women starting up, this group undoubtedly represents a huge part of the future of UK growth, so we need to do more to encourage and support them, particularly given the challenges we are seeing at the moment.”