Role models sought for UK Women’s Entrepreneurship Ambassadors

This exciting new initiative is led by enterprise experts YTKO Group and delivered by Enterprising Women, in partnership with the Institute of Directors, Her Business and Forward Ladies. It is part of a wider European programme promoting enterprise – the European Network of Female Entrepreneurship Ambassadors (ENFEA). Ambassadors will be recruited from all parts of the UK, to reach into communities and to work with women and girls, to raise enterprise aspirations and encourage them to start up in business.

Fifty exceptional ambassadors will be selected to 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.

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.

Bev Hurley, CEO of YTKO Group, founder of the Enterprising Women community and holder of the Queen’s Award Enterprise Promotion, commented: “This is an exciting opportunity for successful businesswomen to make a positive contribution to future of UK business, by encouraging more young women to explore enterprise as an attractive career option.

“Women’s representation in business and self-employment in the UK is far short of their representation in the labour market. We’re confident that our new ambassadors will start to turn this around and arouse interest and motivation towards enterprise.”

Businesswomen interested in pledging their support and becoming an ambassador for this worthwhile cause will also benefit from profile-raising media opportunities and the ability to demonstrate their commitment to corporate social responsibility. Application forms are available on the UKFEA website.

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 European Network of Female Entrepreneurship Ambassadors (ENFEA), which coordinates women’s enterprise ambassador programmes in 22 countries across the EU.

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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.

About YTKO Group

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

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.

Her Business

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.