#Proud2support #Media: WECONNECT INTERNATIONAL Brings Europe’s First Female-focussed Supplier Diversity Forum to The UK

London – October 2016:  The WEConnect International European Conference returns 16th-17th November 2016, now with an extra day dedicated to supply chain inclusion within large corporations.

The Supplier Diversity Forum, which will take place on the second day of the conference, will focus specifically on women-owned businesses. During the two-day conference, WEConnect International invites some of the world’s largest corporations, along with women-owned businesses, to explore supplier diversity and corporate social responsibility.

The WEConnect International European Supplier Diversity Forum provides a platform for both large businesses and SMEs to discuss the benefits of a diverse supplier base, providing useful insights that can be shared with internal procurement teams and information to engage first tier supply partners.

By providing a space for discussion, WEConnect International hopes to increase awareness among large corporations and increase inclusivity, ultimately forming powerful partnerships that will benefit businesses of all sizes and strengthen the British economy.

Research suggests that 900,000 more businesses would be created if the UK achieved the same level of female entrepreneurship as in the US, resulting in an additional £23 billion gross value added to the British economy.

Access to corporate and public sector procurement opportunities remain imbalanced for women-owned enterprises, creating barriers to success, which WEConnect International aims to break down by campaigning for fair and equal access to corporate and public-sector procurement opportunities locally, nationally and internationally.

WEConnect International work with multi-nationals and government departments who recognise the benefits of widening access to their supply chains, and women-owned business who want to connect with corporates and demonstrate their value to large corporations.

Maggie Berry, WEConnect International Executive Director for Europe said: “Through both the conference and the forum, we’re looking to further the supplier diversity agenda here in Europe by helping multi-national corporations to understand the benefits of buying from diverse and women-owned businesses.

“The WEConnect International global network of women-owned businesses includes a wide range of SMEs providing corporate and B2B products and services and this event offers a fabulous opportunity for them to get connected to buyers within the corporate world.”

Miriam Dervan, CEO of mdgroup, a certified women-owned business, said: “The diversity forum aims to open the eyes of other companies and corporations, to the value and significance of working with women-owned businesses. It can be a struggle for women-owned SMEs to be taken seriously and it is important we demonstrate the wealth of skills we have to offer at WEConnect International.

“Diversifying the supply chain shouldn’t just be about ticking boxes, it’s about furthering growth in the diversity market whilst gaining immense benefit for both the women-owned companies WEConnect International supports and the bigger organisations who use our services.”

Michael Robinson, IBM Global Supplier Diversity Program Director, said: “Diversity goes beyond fair hiring practices and protection for all employees. It also includes a focus on how those disparate pieces fit together to create an innovative, integrated whole. We call this approach inclusion.

“Three basic principles underscore IBM’s ongoing commitment to diversity—its workforce, customer base and supply chain. Building and maintaining a community of diverse suppliers increases opportunity to explore new ideas, apply different approaches and gain access to additional solutions that respond to customer needs.’

 

Notes

WEConnect International in Europe is the leading global supplier diversity initiative spearheading the connection of women-owned business and multinational corporations.

The WEConnect International Conference and Supplier Diversity Forum is hosted by IBM and sponsored by a range of global leaders, including Intel, Accenture, and Monsanto and more. For more information on the event, visit the WEConnect International website.

To register attendance, visit http://www.weconnecteurope.org/event/weconnect-international-europe-conference-2016

Please contact MBerry@weconnectinternational.org  for all enquiries relating to WEConnect International.

#Proud2support #Media: #FQ3 Forum Discusses The Growth of UK Women Owned Businesses

Market Accents is supporting the UK Economic Blueprint in the UK and is a TeamEB Marketing Lead and also participates in the Access to Markets workstream.

October 2016, London UK. Pink Shoe, together with the Enterprise Research Centre (ERC),  organised the third International Female Quotient Forum (#FQ3) at The Shard in central London on Wednesday 26 October 2016. This well-attended event provided the ideal forum to advance the discussion for opportunities for women-owned businesses (WBs) in a complex and post-Brexit economy with representatives from the City, corporate, public sector and professional industries.

The key conversation during #FQ3 was focused on how to harness female talent to drive economic growth, reinforcing Prime Minister Theresa May’s vision on the contribution of women-owned businesses in the UK today. Facts such as “only 20% of SMEs are WBs” from a UK population where “51% is female” set the scene for the forum agenda.

Helene Martin Gee, Founder and President of Pink Shoe, welcomed guests present and introduced Caroline Dinenge, the Minister for Women and Equalities, who opened the forum with a keynote speech that emphasized the importance of opportunities and support. She talked about the challenges faced by female entrepreneurs and WBs, and the fact that there are now more women-led businesses than ever before.  She said that WBs currently inject around £115 billion to the UK economy. Furthermore, Britain has been ranked as the best place in Europe for female entrepreneurs.

Having set the direction, the programme continued with an update on the UK Economic Blueprint (EB) by Jill Pay, Chairman of Pink Shoe Senate. Professor Stephen Roper of Enterprise Research Centre (ERC) spoke next, saying that the ERC warmly welcomed the initiative and endorsed their ongoing strong support for the UK EB. His speech was followed by presentations, national and international case studies and panel discussions on opportunities arising from beyond the UK shores, including the Commonwealth and importance of the global export market, especially in the light of a post-Brexit economy. Panel speakers included Lord Jonathan Marland, Jennifer Bisceglie and Joanna Santinon, with chair Maggie Semple OBE, and Deb Leary OBE, Christine Hamilton and Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne with Chair Melanie Eusebe.

Helen Walbey, Federation of Small Business (FSB) UK-wide Diversity Chair highlighted findings from the FSB’s recent report on women and enterprise, noting that most of the challenges faced by women entrepreneurs and SME business owners – such as cash flow and access to finance – were similar. However, women-led businesses also experienced additional issues which were more gender-specific.  These included balancing work and family life (40%), achieving credibility for the business (37%) and a lack of confidence (22%).

This same national snapshot was confirmed by Dr Karen Bonner from ERC, who gave an update on the latest research on SMEs. Insights from national statistics indicate that the UK female rate of early-stage entrepreneurship is around half the male rate – a picture shared with most high income economies,  with the exception of the US where it is two thirds of the male rate.  In addition, entrepreneurs’ growth ambition is strongly linked to subsequent performance.  There are differing ambitions for males and females, and the results indicate that women prefer flexibility to growth.

The closing remarks were given by Craig Tracey MP, Chairman of All Party Parliamentary Group on Women and Enterprise,  who said that the findings and trends, including the case studies and various panel discussions were very significant and were sending a strong message to government about the importance of women-led businesses. He told the audience present , “It was a privilege to be asked to speak at this event and to support the promotion of better gender equality for women in enterprise.”

This third forum was a milestone in a 5-year programme that will see the development of the first-ever UK Economic Blueprint for women-owned businesses. It followed on from last year’s successful #FQ2 forum which marked the launch of the Economic Blueprint and the Ten Point Plan underpinning its delivery. Since then, Team EB with seven supporting work streams has defined the vision, mission and scope of the overall programme, as well as the individual work stream plans which will bring this innovative and unique platform to fruition.

As Jill Pay explained, “#FQ3 is an important milestone in our overall strategy and plans. We are now in Day One of Year Two. We are breaking down barriers and opening up opportunities for WBs using advocacy and influence to seek policy and economic solutions to improve opportunities for WBs while developing technological and collaborative platforms to underpin the EB.  The EB digital platform will be an independent, inclusive, first port of call for advice, information, support, training, mentors, case studies and innovative tools that will help women to start and scale up their businesses. Over the next year we will seek sponsorship in three areas: the design, creation and development of the EB digital platform,  a programme of road shows to take the EB around the UK and a programme manager to ensure progress and quality outcomes. ”

Helene Martin Gee concluded, “Today, the UK Economic Blueprint is more than just a concept. In the last year, we have defined and developed the project framework that will deliver the Economic Blueprint and digital platform and the seven work streams are all engaged in developing plans to bring it to fruition. Following #FQ3, we are stepping up the momentum.”

Helene continued, “The Blueprint has strong support from Ministers, MPs and Peers and via the All Party Parliamentary Group for Women and Enterprise and other leading All Party groups. We are also forming strong partnerships with corporates, business owners and national organisations to reach the largest possible number of WBs. Today we read out comments from Lady Barbara Judge CBE, Chairman of the Institute of Directors, who said that it is vital that women’s voices are heard right across business. Lady Judge was encouraged and added  that the work we are doing on the first UK EB for Women will help to support and encourage more women into business and entrepreneurship, and that can only be a good thing for the whole economy.  As we have said since the beginning of our journey, we will continue to use advocacy and influence to seek policy and economic solutions to improve opportunities for WBs, and with the assistance of our international and UK partners and supporters, we are confident that we can achieve our goals.”

Ends

About Pink Shoe

Pink Shoe is an influential and innovative business network that works to positively impact life-long development of women.  Its founder is Helene Martin Gee.  Patrons are The Rt. Hon Theresa May  MP and Tessa Sanderson CBE.  The Pink Shoe Senate, which drives development and strategy, is chaired by Jill Pay.

Established in 2007 in London, Pink Shoe creates initiatives across the UK to advance talented women at all levels.  Members are an eclectic mix of high-ranking professionals encompassing government, industry, academia, entrepreneurship, public service and third sectors.  Its special focus on entrepreneurship includes working in partnership with key Parliamentary groups to generate a range of vibrant and interactive events connecting prominent and emerging entrepreneurs, and young people of all backgrounds with Parliament.  Alongside this Pink Shoe creates unique programmes to encourage more women and under-represented people to enter public life.

www.pinkshoeclub.com

 

About WIPP

Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) in the US was founded in 2001 (see www.wipp.org). It is non-partisan and now represents 4.7m women in business and has 78 partnering organisations. Creating a definitive Economic Blueprint for Women: http://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.wipp.org/resource/resmgr/Economic_Blueprint/EconomicBlueprint2016.pdf

WIPP International’s mission is to build powerful collaborative networks among leading women-led organisations to leverage their joint power to negotiate for policy and economic solutions to enable women to achieve economic independence and participate fully in their country’s economic growth.

WIPP International identified the UK as the first country to develop the Economic Blueprint globally and has chosen Pink Shoe as its delivery partner.

#Proud2support: #FQ3 International Forum at The Shard 26/10/16

#FQ3 Forum To Discuss The Growth of UK Women Owned Businesses fq3

October 2016, London UK. Pink Shoe, together with the Enterprise Research Centre (ERC), is organising the third International Female Quotient (#FQ) Forum at The Shard in central London on Wednesday 26 October, 2016. This forum will advance the discussion for opportunities for women-owned businesses in a complex and post-Brexit economy with representatives from the City, corporate, public sector and professional industries. 

This third forum is a milestone in a 5-year programme that will see the development of the first-ever UK Economic Blueprint (UK EB) for women-owned businesses (WBs). It follows on from last year’s successful #FQ2 forum, also held at The Shard, which marked the launch of the Economic Blueprint and the Ten Point Plan underpinning its delivery. Since then, Team EB with seven supporting work streams has defined the vision, mission and scope of the overall programme, as well as the individual work stream plans which will bring this innovative and unique platform to fruition.

#FQ3 takes the conversation surrounding the growth of UK women-owned businesses to industry representatives, corporates and public sector, discussing the positive impact these businesses have on the economy and the emerging opportunities for global collaboration, especially in the light of a post-Brexit economy. The programme includes keynote speeches, presentations and panel discussions on various topics, including the development of the UK Economic Blueprint for Women, the impact of gender parity on economic growth, the Brexit effect for women-owned business and the global picture for female enterprise, showcasing international case studies. 

Confirmed delegates include industry leaders and representatives from the City and public sector, as well as international corporates, business owners and organisations that represent women business owners, influencers and policy makers.

As Jill Pay, Chairman of Pink Shoe Senate, remarked, “#FQ3 is an important milestone in our overall strategy and plans. Last year’s conference, #FQ2, was Day One in Year One.  We are now in Day One of Year Two, and all the seven work streams are steaming ahead to define the requirements and bring to life the technology and collaborative platforms that will underpin the Economic Blueprint. We are now working with corporates, business owners and national organisations to reach the largest possible number of women-owned businesses.”  

Helene Martin Gee, Founder and President of Pink Shoe, continued, “Today, the UK Economic Blueprint is more than just a concept. In the last year, we have defined and developed the project framework that will deliver the Economic Blueprint and digital platform.  The seven work streams are all engaged in developing plans to bring it to fruition. The Blueprint has strong support from Ministers, MPs and Peers and via the All Party Parliamentary Group for Women and Enterprise and leading other All Party groups. We are also forming strong partnerships with corporates and national organisations. We will continue to use advocacy and influence to seek policy and economic solutions to improve opportunities for women-owned businesses and with the assistance of our international and UK partners and supporters, we are confident that we can achieve our goals.”  

http://www.thepinkshoeclub.co.uk/about/economic-blueprint

#Proud2Support CCLEF Fundraising Annual Valentine’s Gala Dinner

CCLEF logoCCL Gala Dinner 2016On Friday 12 February 2016, Noreen Cesareo, Principal at Market Accents,  was invited to attend the Commonwealth Countries League Annual Valentine’s Gala Dinner as a guest of CCLEF Hon Treasurer Ms Judith Fisher. The dinner was held at the Princess Alexandra Hall at the Royal Overseas League Club in St. James’s Street, London. The evening included singing and bollywood dancing as well as a raffle draw which was drawn by Ms Cesareo.

The Commonwealth Countries League Education Fund (CCLEF) is a charity which runs a secondary education sponsorship scheme for girls. Market Accents is a proud Ambassador and supporter of the charity and has assisted with marketing and communications, including the Splendours of the Commonwealth events, since 2013. CCLEF prizes 16

Market Accents supported the fundraising on the night by donating a  bottle of champagne and fine chocolates for the raffle.

Market Accents supports SOTC for the second consecutive year

London, SepSplendoursofthecommonwealth logotember 2014: Market Accents, the strategic marketing and communications consultancy has once again worked closely with the Commonwealth Countries League Education Fund (CCLEF) to provide marketing and communication support for the Splendours of the Commonwealth (SOTC) event on Monday September 8, 2014 held at the May Fair Hotel, in London,  the “Official Hotel of London Fashion Week”.

Building on the success of last year’s event, the programme once again was a glittering affair, showcasing talent and fashion design throughout the Commonwealth. This fund raising event was organised by trustees, friends and sponsors of the Commonwealth Countries League Education Fund (CCLEF) and was sponsored by The May Fair Hotel and HSBC. Guests and celebrities include members of the Diplomatic community of the Commonwealth, CCLEF supporters and senior influential women representing UK business, fashion enterprise and global women’s campaigns. The event was hosted by representatives from the CCLEF’s board of Trustees.

Noreen Cesareo, Principal at Market Accents, said, “Once again, Market Accents is delighted to have been a partner and supporter of Splendors and CCLEF.  The SOTC 2014 was larger, bigger and better. It brought together a wealth of talent and design which have benefited CCLEF  in its fundraising efforts. We look forward to a continued relationship with the Board of trustees and the CCLEF worldwide.”

Judith Fisher, Splendours event organiser and CCLEF Hon. Treasurer, said, “As a charity, we depend on our sponsors and supporters, and once again, we are deeply honoured and grateful to The May Fair Hotel owners for their ongoing and generous support. We are also fortunate to have the assistance and direction provided by our SOTC Organising Committee, which includes CCLEF Trustees and representatives from The May Fair Hotel team, Fashion Lookout, Market Accents and Shelly Stock Hutter, among many other supporters. Such invaluable assistance, coupled with the equally generous sponsorship from our lead sponsor HSBC plc, has contributed immensely to bring this spectacular event to life once again.”

About CCLEF – www.cclef.org

The CCLEF has sponsored thousands of bright girls through secondary education since 1967. Today they are supporting 400 able girls across 28 Commonwealth countries. Without their help, these girls would not otherwise receive an education and their lives would be very different indeed. The charity’s founders, the Commonwealth Countries League (CCL), formed out of the suffragette movement in the 1920s, support their work with the help of the High Commissions in London through the annual Commonwealth Fair and other fundraising events.