North East needs more Female Entrepreneurs

North East needs more female entrepreneurs

Catherine Hanlon and Business Support Manager, Shirley Hermiston

Despite a surge in female led start-ups in the UK as a whole, women in the North East are still less likely to start their own business.

Only 2.8% of women in the North East describe themselves as early-stage entrepreneurs, compared to 7% of women in the South East according to data compiled by Aston University.

Yet there are many successful female role models in our region who can inspire women entrepreneurs of the future: Dame Margaret Barbour of clothing firm J. Barbour & Sons; Alice Hall, founder of Pink Boutique; and rising stars like Jules Quinn, founder of The Teashed to name but a few.

There are many reasons for individuals to start their business, from leaving their jobs or taking advantage of redundancy to turn that hobby or passion into a business, but it is determination and commitment to turning their ideas into a reality that builds successful businesses. Women need to tap into what they are good at and as women’s strengths are so diverse, the opportunities are endless.

Entrepreneurs are also born from spotting an opportunity, a gap in the market or from an industry they know something about. Take Ami Davies, who developed a tech solution inspired by her daughter; My Little Explorer is wearable technology in the form of a wristband worn by a child to alert parents if the child has wondered away. Ami advises: “Find someone who has done it before, and is willing to spare you some time and support you. You should also use the expertise of local start-up support services, and network as much as possible.”

The support not only comes in the form of advice to women, but from many great initiatives such as The Inspire Network – a group of North East women entrepreneurs who meet at regular events throughout the region to welcome and support female entrepreneurs who are striving to build their business.

Furthermore, the advantages of starting your own business are endless. Catherine Hanlon, a recent BIC start-up client said: “I am a very independent person, so having finished my degree, I decided to start my own business, In Harmony Music Tuition. I thrive on the freedom and control that it affords me, and knowing that what I’m doing is making a difference to people’s lives fills me with a sense of achievement.”

If you are thinking of starting a business, call 0191 516 6149 to book a free appointment with our start-up team.

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