Over the past few years, it has been wonderful to see a huge rise in female enterprise, particularly in Medway where I was pleased to recently attend a roundtable for Make It Your Business alongside fellow female business owners.
Make It Your Business was launched by Alison Cork at the beginning of 2018 and is a not for profit entity to encourage and support women to start their own business.
Manned entirely by volunteers, Make It Your Business runs seminars throughout the UK which brings established female entrepreneurs to tell their stories to aspiring female entrepreneurs, which then develops into a permanent local networking group for those women, to help foster their confidence and contacts.
For many years before being elected to Parliament, I also started and ran my own business in Rochester, but sadly back when I started there was little support for women taking such a step. However, having attended one of our local Make It Your Business events I can see that there are wonderful supportive communities out there with huge amounts of energy and enthusiasm.
Last year, 30 seminars were run throughout the UK, from Devon to Edinburgh, Cardiff, Manchester, Birmingham and East Anglia amongst other places. This year they plan to run 50-70 nationwide, expand their membership to 5000 inspiring entrepreneurs and engage further with the business community and government.
On top of these fantastic networks the government is also doing much more to support new business. British Business Bank programmes are currently supporting almost £4 billion of finance to over 60,000 smaller businesses across the UK which includes over 51,500 Start-Up Loans worth over £366 million.
I will pleased to support this growing business community for women, and if this is of interest to any businesswomen or those aspiring to start a business, you can find out more at http://www.makeityourbusiness.co.uk/.