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Female founders level-up on trends and skills at small business event

2-minute read

Harpreet Kaur on stage at women in business networking event
Catriona Smith

Catriona Smith

30 November 2022

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Brand storytelling, social media trends, and the importance of a strong mindset are just some of the takeaways from an Empowering Women in Business networking event.

Hosted by Simply Business, the event saw more than 60 small business owners gather in London to hear from three inspiring female founders.

Harpreet Kaur, Lucy Hitchcock, and Merlie Calvert all spoke at the event on 23 November – which included an engaging audience Q&A.

Why did we host the event?

Earlier this year we surveyed over 800 female business owners to find out their challenges and experiences for a report we released around International Women’s Day.

Here’s what they told us:

  • 41 per cent would like a chance to network with other female business owners
  • 33 per cent say tips from industry leaders would help them with running their business
  • 41 per cent say their biggest challenge is scaling and marketing their business

With that in mind, we decided to host a small business meet-up where our community could connect and hear from expert speakers.

Harpreet Kaur on developing a strong mindset

Harpreet Kaur came to the spotlight after winning BBC’s The Apprentice in 2022 and gaining a £250,000 investment from Lord Alan Sugar for her dessert parlour business, Oh So Yum.

For the event, she delivered an incredible keynote speech all about her story as a female entrepreneur. She also offered important tips for developing a strong mindset and prioritising what’s important.

Harpreet said: “If there’s anything you want, it’s in your power.”

Read more from Harpreet with her tips on how to grow your business.

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Building a social media community

We also heard from entrepreneur and owner of two successful businesses, Lucy Hitchcock.

Lucy founded Sassy Digital at the age of 23, and is now owner of a product-based business that saw viral success over the pandemic. Her second business, Partner in Wine, is an insulated wine bottle and tumbler that’s now stocked in retailers including Selfridges and Liberty.

Lucy Hitchcock speaking on stage at women in business event
Photograph: Noah Da Costa

'The basis of any good marketing strategy is storytelling'

Lucy used her experience in digital marketing to share practical tips on creating a brand story and building a social media community.

She gave tips for posting on TikTok and Instagram – and how to make people feel something when you share your story.

She said: “Think about things that you can really resonate with because, when you’re telling that story, it’s going to come across as really authentic.”

Getting to the heart of business success

To close off the evening, Merlie Calvert, founder of Farillio joined our two speakers for an engaging panel discussion.

They delved into topics including how to approach investment, how to stay motivated, and how to collaborate with other businesses without offering freebies.

Guests had the chance to put their questions to the experts and find out the secret to business success.

Join the conversation

Our Women in Business Facebook community group is another opportunity for female founders to talk and share ideas – we look forward to seeing it grow.

Not only is the group a space to connect with other business women, you'll also find small business tips, exclusive Q&A sessions with experts, and exciting giveaways.

Three women business owners speaking on stage at panel event
From left: Merlie Calvert, Lucy Hitchcock, Harpreet Kaur. Photograph: Noah Da Costa

Let’s Get You To Brave

Farillio has created a video to help inspire small business owners that they’re ready to take on the challenges of being an entrepreneur.

You can get free access to Farillio for three months with the code SBBOOST22.

The platform offers resources co-created by subject matter experts to help you build your knowledge, grow your business, stay compliant, manage your risks and be more productive. This includes things like workflow tools, checklists, customisable legal templates, guides and videos.

More guides co-created with Farillio can be found on our Knowledge centre.

Did you attend our event last week? What did you think? Let us know in the comments.

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Photograph: Noah Da Costa
Catriona Smith

Written by

Catriona Smith

Catriona Smith is a content and marketing professional with 12 years’ experience across the financial services, higher education, and insurance sectors. She’s also a trained NCTJ Gold Standard journalist. As a Senior Copywriter at Simply Business, Catriona has in-depth knowledge of small business concerns and specialises in tax, marketing, and business operations. Catriona lives in the seaside city of Brighton where she’s also a freelance yoga teacher.

We create this content for general information purposes and it should not be taken as advice. Always take professional advice. Read our full disclaimer

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