Women Mean Business event celebrates female rural entrepreneurs

The contribution female entrepreneurs make to Northumberland’s economy is set to be recognised at the Women Mean Business event

Mary Ann Rogers
Mary Ann Rogers

The contribution female entrepreneurs make to Northumberland’s economy is set to be recognised in a special event.

Before the recession hit, research showed that Alnwick and the surrounding area had proportionally more female entrepreneurs than anywhere else in the UK, with more than three in every 10 businesses run by women compared to the national average of 25%.

Latest statistics show a 10% leap in the number of self-employed women nationally in the last two years, outstripping the 3.3% increase in men setting up their own firms.

Female entrepreneurs will now be celebrated at the Women Mean Business event, being held in Alnwick on International Women’s Day, March 8, where stalls of female-run businesses will share what they do with the public, who can also take part in workshops and taster sessions.

Julia Lyford, from social enterprise Fourth Action, the Belford-based group organising the Women Mean Business event, said: “Northumberland really is a hotbed for female-owned businesses. You just have to look around and you’ll see thriving female-run enterprises everywhere in Northumberland – people like Mary Ann Rogers, to ice cream makers such as Doddington Dairy and The Proof of the Pudding near Alnwick.

“This will be the first ever event of its kind to celebrate women’s contribution our economy in Northumberland, and we hope it will inspire even more female entrepreneurs to do it for themselves.”

Hexham-based artist Rogers added: “The sheer number of businesses owned and run by women in Northumberland is fantastic and the fact there are so many provides great support and encouragement to other women thinking about starting up on their own. Events like Women Mean Business are a great showcase for both the county and our huge diversity of female-run businesses.”

To find out more or book a stall at the event, contact Julia Lyford on 01668 219879 or by emailing julia@fourthaction.org

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