The UK Female Entrepreneurship Ambassadors (UKFEA) comprises 50 enterprising women from all parts of the UK, who will work alongside women and girls to encourage them to consider, start and grow businesses.
The programme aims to impact upon 20,000 females from a range of backgrounds, with up to 6,000 participating in educational events and 3,000 women and girls involved in some form of entrepreneurial activity before the end of the project in November 2012.
UKFEA ambassador Emma Rose commented: “The brilliance of the UKFEA for me is twofold: one, there is a group of women spreading out across the country with a specific remit of inspiring and supporting other entrepreneurs; and two, these women are collecting the thoughts, fears, and challenges entrepreneurs are facing and feeding them straight back into the right organisation to help in the UK. That kind of combined action and intelligence is extremely valuable to nurture and enable growth in business.”
A business support consultant who owns and is The Capable Manager, Emma will visit Brussels during EU SME Week in her role as a UKFEA ambassador.
She added:“I am often the first person in a room to stand up and tell a woman that she can achieve, and help her practically too. The UKFEA programme has essentially given me the stamp of approval to keep doing this.”
The work of the UKFEA is even more significant in light of a briefing paper published by the Women’s Enterprise Policy Group, which shows that female-led businesses contribute more than £75 billion to the economy. Indeed their role in growing the economy, and creating and sustaining new jobs, is crucial to recovery and growth.
The ambassadors for UKFEA will proactively campaign and participate in a range of activities, including conferences, media engagements, contributing to online webcasts, activities in schools, colleges and universities, workshops and policy debates.
As an ambassador, Jan Cavelle, owner of the award-winning The Jan Cavelle Furniture Company, has recently participated in Deloitte’s Great Debate 2011. Other speakers at the annual event included Rt Hon David Davis MP, Baroness Jo Valentine and Sir Andrew Cahn.
Jan said: “I was incredibly honoured to be chosen as part of the UKFEA programme. I had been doing enterprise work for a few years, originally for the Girls! Make Your Mark campaign and over time have simply become more and more passionate about the need to promote enterprise. I completely believe that encouraging new and existing enterprise is the way forward to push the world out of the recession.
“Women in particular tend to need more help and support to believe in their great ability to do this. UKFEA is an amazing campaign and being of a higher profile is guaranteed to spread the word to a larger group of people, which is just what we need to do.”
UKFEA is led by enterprise experts YTKO Group and delivered by Enterprising Women, in partnership with the Institute of Directors, Her Business and Forward Ladies. The programme is part of a wider European programme promoting enterprise – the European Network of Female Entrepreneurship Ambassadors (ENFEA).
Bev Hurley, CEO of YTKO Group, founder of the Enterprising Women community and holder of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion, commented: “All fifty of our ambassadors are inspiring and successful role models that are enthusiastic about helping other women and girls across the country to discover their entrepreneurial spirit.”
Having joined the UKFEA as an ambassador, Bev has recently participated as a judge for the Young Enterprise East of England 2011 Dragon’s Den event.
She added: “Women’s representation in business and self-employment in the UK is far short of their representation in the labour market. Given the reduced landscape of existing support, our new ambassadors will ensure that enterprise is seen as a viable career option for women.”
As the UK’s leading business support network solely focused on developing female entrepreneurs, Enterprising Women is well positioned to head the ambassador programme to increase entrepreneurial activity amongst women and girls.
Created and managed by YTKO Group, a Prowess Flagship organisation, Enterprising Women was selected as UK best practice for SME support by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) in 2009.
The UK partnership will work closely with and support the ENFEA, which coordinates women’s enterprise ambassador programmes in 22 countries across the EU.
About the UK Women’s Enterprise Ambassador Programme
The UK Women’s Enterprise Ambassador Programme has a clear mission – to boost the rate of female entrepreneurial activity across England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. By reaching 20,000 women and girls aged 11 upwards, the programme’s 50 ambassadors will help to establish the participation of up to 6,000 women, with half undertaking some form of enterprise activity over the project lifetime, to November 2012.
UKFEA is part of a wider EU ambassador network. The European Network of Female Entrepreneurship Ambassadors (ENFEA) is a comprised of 21 other European countries including France, Germany and Italy. Together, these countries provide a high-level network of 250 role models who act as ambassadors, sharing the message about the benefits of female entrepreneurship across Europe.
YTKO Group is one of the UK’s leading economic development and business support companies with a 30-year track record in starting and growing successful businesses. Our mission is that by 2020, we’ll have enabled the creation and growth of more than 5500 companies, contributing over £1 billion per annum to the British economy. YTKO Group’s award-winning work includes a strong specialism in women’s enterprise, and it is the only organisation to hold the prestigious Prowess Flagship Award for all its services in all locations.
About Enterprising Women
Enterprising Women is a vibrant and dynamic networking community providing comprehensive business support and specialist information to help women start up and grow their businesses. The community is comprised of over 8,000 entrepreneurial women members nation-wide. Selected as UK best practice for SME support by BIS in 2009, this award-winning community offers excellent promotional and networking opportunities, complemented by mentors, a loan fund, and a huge range of business support resources.
Forward Ladies is a business-networking organisation for professional women. Women often encounter specific challenges in achieving business success. Founded in 2000, Forward Ladies began as a small group of professional women meeting and sharing experiences. It is now the North’s largest women’s networking and business support organisation supporting over thousands of women throughout Yorkshire, the Humber, Isle of Man, Manchester, Cheshire and Merseyside.
The Women’s Business Centre is an award-winning business support organisation that is all about women helping women. Its track record of success includes winning the Prowess Flagship award. This women’s business centre provides uniquely tailored, professional services in a supportive and inspirational environment – offering real options for women wishing to improve their lives through employment, developing a business or education and training.
Institute of Directors
The Institute of Directors (IoD) was founded in 1903 and how has over 45,000 members in the UK and overseas. Membership includes directors from right across the business spectrum, from large corporations to entrepreneurial directors of start-up companies. The IoD offers a wide range of business services that include business centre facilities, conferences, networking events, virtual offices and hot-desking, issues-led guides and literature, as well as free access to business information and advisory services and a comprehensive Information Centre.