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Leadership News Briefs

National Women’s Enterprise Week: UK’s First National Week to Celebrate Women in Business

June 19-23 sees the launch of National Women’s Enterprise Week (NWEW). This is the first-ever UK-wide celebration of female-led businesses.

The event is the brainchild of entrepreneur Alison Cork MBE, founder of non-profit Make It Your Business. NWEW aims to support and encourage female enterprise. The event will hold a whole week of activities for both the general public and the female entrepreneurial community.

”Entrepreneurship is a life-changing experience and one we must normalize in the UK so that it is as natural to become a business owner as it is to become a doctor or dentist. For women, this also means leveling up the numbers. Currently, only one in four businesses is female-owned or led. Moreover, NWEW is focused on start-ups as opposed to scale-up. It is the thousands of ‘acorns’, as opposed to the few ‘unicorns’ which make the biggest difference to people’s daily lives around the UK – the small business which may simply be a kitchen table concern, but which changes the life choices of its owner for the better.

“NWEW will also see the launch of our first Enterprise Incubator, Women’s Launch Lab, offering 12 all-expenses paid places on our London bootcamp (June 20-22) for female-led early-stage start-ups – a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take part in an immersive incubator program. Our powerhouse of female judges, speakers and mentors include Akshata Murthy, businesswoman and investor, Sara Davies MBE, Founder Crafters Companion and Dragons Den judge, Isabel Oswell, Head of Business Audiences, British Library Business IP Centre, Alison Hall, CEO of fashion brand Sosandar and Mariam Jimoh, Founder and CEO of Oja, to name but a few who will be choosing and mentoring our 12 lucky winners of these free places. 

“This three-day incubator will be intense. During the day our start-ups will hear and learn from innovative female entrepreneurs, growth and marketing strategists and financial experts. NWEW will provide trainings in pitching to secure investment. In the evenings they will attend networking events and receptions at the British Library and House of Lords. The program will culminate with them pitching their idea to a panel of seasoned VCs and investors”. (Alison Cork MBE).  

Ways to involve yourself with NWEW 2023:

  • Enter the Women’s Launch Lab incubator competition – the final date of entry is 15th May. Apply here:
  • Take the first steps to start your own business if that’s been on your ‘to-do’ list for a while. Look up your local Business and IP Centre visit for free information and advice – there are 21 major hubs already around the UK, and 90 satellite centers.
  • Organize your own local networking event or create an activity to celebrate NWEW. Start making those vital connections with other women already running their own businesses and those who need advice to get going. Download our branded graphics to use on social media or posters here  
  • Support other local female entrepreneurs by sharing their business on your socials or buying products and services from them during NWEW (and beyond of course!) – share a pic of your purchases on your socials and tag #NWEW

So, join NWEW in celebrating female-led businesses! National Women’s Enterprise Week is for everyone – because Britain will only fulfill its true potential when women fulfill theirs.

Interested in learning how women leaders balance their business ventures and personal lives? Read Balancing in the Air: Days in the Lives of Female Entrepreneurs.

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