Joining the #SheMeansBusiness programme is more than a status symbol; it is an honour to become part of a community that shines a powerful light on the thousands of women who want to fuel their own business and independence.
#SheMeansBusiness provides relatable role models to help create more female entrepreneurs, and in partnership with Enterprise Nation, amplify the stories of these amazing women. Founded and led by Emma Jones MBE, Enterprise Nation supports thousands of small businesses with her determination, passion and courage to do the right thing. She advises the government as a Business Ambassador and (I imagine) can look at the 75,000 SMEs in the Enterprise Nation community and know, with confidence, that she has impacted the lives of many.
In 2017, #SheMeansBusiness smashed its target of reaching 10,000 women, demonstrating a national commitment to nurturing female entrepreneurs.
This year we aim to reach more than 50,000 in the UK via mentoring, training, education, support and the rally cry of the sisterhood.
The timing of this couldn’t be better, with Time’s Up and #MeToo dominating the headlines, it is a fierce time to be part of a campaign that raises women up and celebrates their achievements, often hard fought and juggled alongside full time jobs, parenthood and so much more.
Recent research commissioned by Facebook suggests that one in 10 women want to set up a business, but are faced with a “confidence curve” between the ages of 25-39 that hold them back, and so remain with ideas but no means to act on them.
This is where we step in: the women who have varied and colourful paths to success. With stories and experience to share in the hope that alongside training and mentoring, we can increase their confidence and self-belief.
Best of all: the confidence to talk about failure. To talk about challenges. To recognise that the road to happiness can be rocky and filled with obstacles, but having awesome passengers in your car can make your journey warmer (especially if you drive a Mini), clearer and less daunting.
We’ve all been there. We’ve all had those sleepless nights, those days fuelled by coffee and the relentless tapping of a keyboard to signal the sheer volume of time and energy being invested. We’ve all walked into a new role with hopes and dreams, only for it not to be the right fit or exactly what YOU conjured up in YOUR head.
The amazing part? YOU are the author of your story. YOU are the driver of YOUR car and what may not have quite fitted, like a lovely pair of new shoes, can provide lessons, mentors, friendships, networks, inspiration, expertise and most importantly, experience.
Got an idea? Have a restless feeling in your heart and tummy? Great - you’re ready. Join us and investigate that niggle. We’ll be here with you every step of the way.
I will be planning most of my events across the South East, but will also venture further afield and online to offer support, expertise, guidance and plenty of laughs.
The Facebook and Enterprise Nation #SheMeansBusiness event launches on International Women’s Day, 8th March. I will be holding a launch event at Great Danes, Mercure Maidstone and you can grab your ticket here.
See you there.