Women's business event at the Oldham Colesium a success

Date published: 22 May 2019

The event was planned and run by ladies from Oldham Enterprise Trust and YENO (Young Enterprise Network Oldham), with the main focus to highlight the many entrepreneurial skills of women with local schools, colleges and the UCO (University Campus Oldham).

The Oldham Enterprise Trust is committed to helping support local women to start up and maintain a business. It is however clear that the number of female applicants that support the trust funding is low, in comparison to the number of male applicants received.

The recent event took place at 11am and students arrived welcoming hosts Drew Fivey and Sonia Ayaz to the stage.

The event gave the women the opportunity to meet like-minded successful female business owners and help the trust to highlight why young women might not be as inclined to start up their own business or even apply for funding.

Rubbi, was one of the 3 guest speakers at the event that was held at the Oldham Colesium, alongside two other guest speakers, Charlotte Mills of Charlotte Mills Limited and Joanne Jones of Pearson’s Solicitors.

Each of the speakers gave speeches and spoke about their own personal journeys through entrepreneurship. Joanne spoke about how her firm at Pearson’s Solicitors is mainly made up of women and how females in the group are going above and beyond their targets as lawyers.

Joanne went on to surprise the audience when she said it was only 100 years ago that the UK saw the first female lawyer.

Rubbi from Wild and Form Digital, spoke about how girls always feel the need to be perfect, before attempting things. Where as men tend to just give it a go and hope for the best. Girls feel the need to know how everything is planned out and need precise detail before carrying out big expectations.

Charlotte Mills, the founder and owner of local bridal shoe company Charlotte Mills Limited, gave an emotional speech, reducing the audience to tears about her journey and how she has been rejected for funding from multiple sources before hearing about the Oldham Enterprise Fund.

Charlotte has now been trading for over 5 years and had her shoes worn by celebrities including Fearne Cotton.

Six Huddle Hubs then followed, three of which were run by the guest speakers and the remaining three by Laura Smart of KPMG, Leanna Holmes of Crane Payment Innovations and Dawn Torrington of local networking group Doing Boz for Yourself.

The students were divided and moved around each hub, discussing topics such as barriers to women entrepreneurs, women in male dominated industries and giving their feedback.

The responses were as follows:

·         Students and teachers want more school visits from OET, YENO, and to hear from passionate role models and success stories.

·         There was a lack of knowledge from both the students and teacher’s behalf and the careers officers were uneducated on entrepreneurship as an option.

·         Students would like to be involved in future events on this subject.

·         Students said OET need to approach schools directly and make the students aware of the funding available.

·         Students stated that careers services only focused on higher education.

The event was a huge success with many of the students and tutors asking if we would do something like this again.

Also, credits to Tayler Keogh-Wroe of Hey Puddin’ for the inspiring cakes and Bethany Graham of Kindness Cards Project for her beautiful handmade cards.

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