Sharing experiences and insights can help businesswomen overcome some of the challenges faced when starting, running or managing a business. That was the message to female business leaders and entrepreneurs at an Ulster Bank Business Women Can event held in Belfast.
More than 60 local businesswomen gathered at the bank’s Belfast headquarters for the event, which heard from leading local entrepreneurs, and saw local businesses showcase their wares in a Christmas market format.
Speakers included: Cathy Martin, founder of Belfast Fashion Week and Managing Director of CMPR; Petra Wolsey, Marketing Director at The Beannchor Group; Ruth Wilson, Founder and Managing Director of Beaufort Interiors; and Brenda Shankey Co-Director of Jason Shankey Male Grooming.
Head of Ulster Bank’s Mid Ulster and Fermanagh Business Centre Shauna Burns said that the bank is delighted to support such events, where successful and dynamic business women can share their experiences and insights.
She pointed out Northern Ireland’s largest company, its largest bank, its government department for enterprise, and its Chamber of Commerce, for example, are now all led by women.
And she said that whilst much more needs to be done, there is an increasingly strong support network in place to assist female entrepreneurs and to encourage more female business leaders.
She continues: “There is no doubt that more women in business is a highly positive development for the economy. A recent global entrepreneurship report by the French giant BNP Paribas, for example, found that the average turnover of the primary business of women entrepreneurs, at $9.1 million, is higher, compared to $8.4 million for men. It also found that women entrepreneurs typically launch about 5 businesses compared to 4.3 for their male counterparts.
“Looking at the calibre of businesses represented at our Business Women Can events gives me cause for real optimism in 2015 and beyond,” she adds.
Business Women Can
Ulster Bank’s successful Business Women Can programme provides online and local support, which aims to offer help and understanding on the specific challenges to women starting, running or managing businesses. The programme is run with the support of programme ambassadors throughout the Bank.
Ulster Bank’s Business Women Can ambassadors are trained and focussed on understanding the products, services and practical support tools needed when starting or running a business and are committed to supporting businesswomen across Ireland.
Stallholders at the event
Style Story (www.stylestoryjewellery.com)
Tracey Tsang Fabric Goods
Jason Shankey (www.jasonshankey.com)
Serene Skincare (www.sereneskincare.co.uk)
In Magazine (www.in-magazine.co.uk)
Floral Creations (www.floralcreationscomber.co.uk)
Ann’s Pantry (www.facebook.com/pages/Anns-Pantry)
The Creativity Hub (www.creativityhub.com)
Sheldon Galleries (www.sheldongalleries.co.uk)
Willow Cards & Gifts (www.thewillowmoira.com)
Chocolate Memories (www.chocolatememories.co.uk)
Barely Cosmetics (www.barelycosmetics.com)
Beaufort Interiors (www.beaufortinteriors.co.uk)