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Date: 15/10/2014

Women-led businesses encouraged to attend UKTI event

Women-led businesses in the West Midlands are being encouraged by UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) to come along to an event to find out more about opportunities to export.

Women are still greatly under-represented in the top roles in UK business. According to the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) small business survey 2012, just 18% of businesses are women-led, around 860,000 SMEs. If women- led businesses grew and exported at the same rate as the average for all small businesses employers, Britain could have up to 10,000 more exporters. This represents a massive untapped resource.

The sectors attracting the biggest increases in women-led businesses are transport, retail and distribution. While these areas are important to the West Midlands, it is manufacturing which is driving the regional economy forward.
So what is stopping women starting their own businesses?

Research done by the Federation of Small Businesses show that more female entrepreneurship could be encouraged by promoting alternative sources of financing, more mentoring, facilitated networking and promoting female business role models.

That’s why UKTI in association with RBS is hosting its third, highly successful, women-led business exporting event on Thursday, 13 November.  ‘Expand your horizons’ is being held from 3pm - 7.30pm, including refreshments and networking opportunities, at Austin Court, Birmingham, B1 2NP.

Delegates will hear from three successful women-led firms at varying stages along the export journey: The Little Coffee Bag Company, Shropshire; Phoenix Calibration & Services Ltd, Black Country, and Balance Me, London. The stories of these businesses will inspire more women to think about exporting, or increase their exports.

Women attending the event will also learn about the support available to internationalise their business as well have the chance to network with a range of businesses such as exporting success story, Big Tomato Company, Stoke-on-Trent.