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Date: 28/10/2014

Women in business from across Herefordshire & Worcestershire were able to come together to network, hear from inspiring speakers, and gain collaborative confidence, at the annual Women's Business Conference at the Abbey Hotel, Malvern.

70 female delegates attended the Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce event, supported by local software solution company borwell Ltd, and they were treated to talks from numerous speakers, ranging from the inspirational to the entrepreneurial.

After initial addresses from Helen Mole of the Chamber of Commerce, and Andrea Borwell-Fox, Director of borwell Ltd, attendees heard the moving and inspirational story of Barbara Moss. Speaking on behalf of St. Richards Hospice, Barbara's story is one of inoperable bowel cancer, a drug that wasn't available on the NHS, and an unwavering desire to not just effect change in her own life, but in the lives of others. Her message was echoed by Annie Onions, who spoke about the importance of regularly checking for the symptoms of cancer.

With 2015 promising to be a year of sporting splendour in the local area, there was the chance to hear from Sophie Carrigill, the captain of Great Britain's Wheelchair Basketball team, who only four years after the car accident that left her paralysed, has already competed in the European and World Championships, with Rio 2016 very much on her radar.

The last speaker to take the stage was Wendy Bowers, non-executive director of the British Chambers of Commerce, who documented a new, forward-thinking project entitled ROLE. The purpose of ROLE is to address the lack of women on boards and in senior management, inspire entrepreneurship, and give female managers the confidence they need to climb the career ladder.

Whilst each of the speakers came from a different background, with different life experiences, leading to markedly different presentations, each one had the same underlying themes of self-confidence, determination and perseverance, which were the key messages that the female entrepreneurs in the room could take from the event.

Nora Seninor, President of the British Chambers of Commerce, agreed with this point, saying: " The most common reason for women not setting up in business or indeed taking risks to grow their business is lack of confidence – fear of failure.

Confidence can be nurtured through encouragement, collaborative support and most important of all, connections.

That’s why I believe this type of event is important, because a business conference such as this creates a platform to share experiences, inspire, exchange advice and create role models. Good business is founded and grown on good connections."

The Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce hold regular Women's Business Forums that can be attended by members and non-members. For more information contact the Chamber of Commerce Events team on 01905 673600 / 01432 803236 or email