Success in Numbers: Guildhall Brimming with Women in Business, Focusing on Access to Finance

Women in Business seating watching a Q&A at the Guildhall in York

Guildhall filled to capacity with women in business from York & North Yorkshire

Around 65 local women in business attended an event today in York’s Guildhall, organised by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) and hosted by BBC Radio York’s Elly Fiorentini.   Aimed at helping attendees access finance and other business support, expert speakers including Cat Smith from the British Business Bank, Jordan Dargue from Access to Finance and Fund Her North, and Stacey McVeighty from York based Change Accountants, gave presentations followed by a panel Q&A and an expo of business support organisations, and a networking lunch.

Access to Finance for small businesses in the spotlight

Further partner organisations around the room including the York & North Yorkshire Growth Hub, City of York Council, and Department for Business & Trade (DBT) and the Good Business Charter as well as local networks MPWR and First Thursday, who pitched their support offers to the room in support spotlights, and dealt with direct enquiries from delegates during breakout networking sessions.

Carolyn Frank, FSB Development Manager York & North Yorkshire commented “It was an inspiring event thanks to all the amazing businesses who attended, there was a real excitement and buzz in the room today, and we have linked many female founders with local support that they were previously unaware of, or didn’t think to ask about.  I am immensely grateful to sponsors Crombie Wilkinson, our hosts Barclays Eagle Labs and the British Business Bank for supporting us financially and enabling us to offer free tickets to delegates as well as a delicious Guildhall networking lunch.  At FSB we believe collaboration is key to a successful economy, and we look forward to further partner working with local firms and organisations as well as City of York Council, the Growth hub and North Yorkshire Council on support for small businesses ”

First activity from the FSB Special Interest Group for Women in Enterprise

Andrea Morrison, volunteer area lead for the FSB who runs her own business, Andrea Morrison Coaching, in York, added “This is the first activity from our FSB Special Interest Group, and we look forward to working with University of York on a research report this Autumn to further understand the specific barriers to women in enterprise in York & North Yorkshire in order to address them with future activity and events.”

“The statistics on access to funding for women in business are astonishingly low, with just 2p in every £1 going to female founders, compared to 80p to male led enterprises, and anything we can do as businesswomen or via the FSB to help rebalance this can really make a difference locally to the economy, so I am pleased we could offer advice and information today to such a wide range of businesswomen.”

Rachel Roche, one of many attendees who commented on LinkedIn about the event said “Excellent event at York Guildhall today. There was definitely a buzz and the information shared was highly informative, practical and I am sure will change the course of many of the businesses in the room for the better, as female business leaders and entrepreneurs around Yorkshire continue to break barriers and thrive.”

Get in touch

You can find out more about access to finance on our Business Funding and Finance page.

If you’d like to know more, you can email us or call our helpdesk team on 0800 246 5045. You can also get in touch with your local business support teams in City of York Council and North Yorkshire Council.

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