Hundreds of female entrepreneurs set to gather in Bristol for festival

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Emma Jones, founder of Enterprise Nation
Emma Jones, founder of Enterprise Nation

Hundreds of budding businesswoman are set to gather in Bristol for the sixth annual Festival of Female Entrepreneurs on October 20 at the Bristol Harbour Hotel and Spa.

The event, run by small business support group Enterprise Nation will see female-lead start-ups and SMEs explore issues and find solutions – as well as be inspired by keynote speakers including Mansfield Town FC CEO Carolyn Radford and serial entrepreneur Edwina Dunn, the woman behind the invention of the Tesco Clubcard.

According to research, the number of women starting businesses has increased dramatically. The data from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor’s annual survey uncovered a 45% increase in the number of working age women becoming their own boss between 2013 and 2016, when compared with 2003 and 2006.

Emma Jones, founder of Enterprise Nation said: “Events like this are important to mobilise and inspire the next generation of female entrepreneurs, giving them the tools and confidence to take their idea or business to the next level.

“In line with this research, we are seeing more and more women choose entrepreneurship as a career path. They are looking for the freedom and flexibility that starting a business or becoming self-employed delivers – and they are also spotting creative gaps in the market that they can capitalise on.”

The survey found British men remain nearly twice as likely as women to be entrepreneurs, with 10.4% of working age men working for themselves compared with 5.5% of women between 2013 and 2016. But there has been significant progress. Ten years earlier, 8.2% of men identified as entrepreneurs, compared with just 3.8% of women.

The event will include keynote speeches from Max and Nina Leykind, make-up veterans and co-founders of Eyeko London, Mel Bound, founder of Bath-based national running group This Mum Runs and Enterprise Nation’s 2016 Female Start-up of the Year winner, and Helen Wooldridge, founder of global baby towel innovator Cuddledry.

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