On October 15th, CPF Champion for Women Entrepreneurs and founder of Make It Your Business, Alison Cork, and her team of MIYB Local Champions gathered from all corners of the UK for a round table at CCHQ and No.10.
MIYB is a not for profit initiative to encourage and support women to start their own business and to redress the current imbalance of female representation in entrepreneurship. In particular, it seeks to provide practical assistance UK wide through its regionally run seminars, networking events and mentoring app.
The purpose of the day was to meet with senior party members at CCHQ and The Business Engagement team at No.10, to explore the issues deterring women from becoming self employed, and how to support them to success.
Topics discussed included the importance of regional networks to encourage female entrepreneurship, the power of mentoring and how best to deliver it, maternity benefits for self employed women, access to business start up advice and greater regulation of business coaches to maximize business start up success.
The day followed on from the Prime Minister’s attendance at a MIYB seminar in Maidenhead in September, after which she referenced MIYB and the importance of female entrepreneurship and networks in a subsequent interview, saying that entrepreneurship was the most ‘socially responsible’ thing one could do and that:
“I was at an event in my constituency on Monday, a network called Make It Your Business, which is about women setting up their own businesses. Again it was that - let’s encourage women, many of whom have the idea but don’t actually take the step. It just needs somebody saying ‘yes you can do it’.”
Most recently, MIYB and Alison Cork were name-checked in OPQs by Theresa Villiers MP and Small Business Minister Kelly Tolhurst, in connection with the recent government announcement of £20 million pounds funding to improve networking for entrepreneurs.
MIYB has ambitious plans in 2019 to grow its UK network infrastructure, and to drive forward policy discussion.