York gets set to celebrate female business leaders

For the third year running, York’s businesses are being invited to celebrate the achievements of women in business at an event aimed at supporting female entrepreneurship in the city.

Empowering and Inspiring Women in Business in York will take place on Tuesday 5 March from 9:30am-2:15pm at the Priory Street Centre, 15 Priory Street, York YO1 6ET.

This event, run in partnership with NatWest, will build on a successful series that has taken place over the past three years. This event series has seen female entrepreneurs from across the city gather to share ideas and advice, and learn about free business support available from the council and its partner organisations.

The event will take place during the week of International Women’s Day, which this year is focused on the theme of ‘Inspiring Inclusion’. The theme urges individuals, communities, businesses and organisations to forge a more inclusive, tolerant world, and promotes belonging, relevance and empowerment for women and girls everywhere.

Keynote speaker Louise Toal will reflect on this theme in her talk, ‘If the shoe fits’, which will explore her journey as a female leader in the male-dominated world of tech.

Louise will share lessons from her own career, having risen in just five years from Project Mananger at award-winning app agency The Distance to the role of Managing Director.

The University of York will also be on-hand to talk to businesses about their recently launched business support programme, Innovate York, funded by the council through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UK SPF).

This programme encompasses three strands:

  • Innovation Workshops offer existing and pre-start businesses expert guidance and interactive sessions designed to boost confidence, expertise and growth.
  • The Women in Innovation Programme supports the city’s female-led businesses to realise their innovation potential through peer-to-peer mentoring and networking.
  • Innovation Masterclasses will provide entrepreneurs with in-depth insight into a key innovation theme

Following on from last year’s successful programme of digital skills training events run in partnership with Google Digital Garage, Google’s experts will be returning to York to deliver two free workshops on AI for businesses at the event.

After hearing from the speakers, attendees will have the opportunity to network over a light lunch, making connections with like-minded individuals and building their networks and talk to other new business support projects at an exhibition.

These projects include:

  • Decarbonising the business base in York, provided by Green Economy

This event has received funding from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund through City of York Council.

Cllr Claire Douglas, Leader of City of York Council, said:

“I’m delighted this hugely important event is returning for another year to celebrate, inspire and empower women in business.

“Our Council Plan for the next four years, is committed to building a fair and inclusive economy that works for everyone – and part of achieving this is by supporting York’s amazing female-led businesses to succeed.

“Having run my own company, I understand many of the barriers that women face when breaking into the world of business, and I know events like this provide vital opportunities to access networks and support.

“This promises to be a really inspiring and impactful event, and I’d encourage both women and men in York’s business community to come along, whether they’re already leading an established business or thinking of starting one.”

Rachel Dixon, Regional Eco-System Manager at NatWest, said:

“We are delighted to be partnering on this fantastic, inspirational event. It feels particularly special during the week of International Women’s Day to have this space for uplifting and supporting women entrepreneurs, bringing them together and celebrating the impact that they make.

“As the biggest lender to SMEs in the country, we understand the value of small businesses to the UK economy and the positive impact they make in our towns and communities. We’re committed to removing barriers to enterprise and providing more opportunities for companies to grow and thrive. Our Accelerator programme empowers small business owners to scale their business to the next level, helping entrepreneurs to take their business much further and faster.

“I’m looking forward to celebrating the impact of our women-led businesses while showcasing the people behind these success stories, and hopefully to inspire other women with great business ideas to begin their entrepreneurial journey.”

Book your free tickets to Empowering and Inspiring Women in Business in York: