The Women in Entrepreneurship event heard from a range of inspirational female entrepreneurs.
Organised by Dr Sukanya Ayatakshi Endow, Senior Lecturer in Entrepreneurship from the Faculty of Management, the Women in Entrepreneurship event saw talks from inspiring women and panel discussions with delegates.
The event was open to students and staff alike and aimed to break down barriers for women in entrepreneurship whilst celebrating Global Entrepreneurship Week which ran from 18 - 24 November.
Dr Ayatakshi Endow said: “This was the first time that Bournemouth University has celebrated Global Entrepreneurship Week and with our commitment to the UN Sustainability Goals, we thought it was appropriate that we use Global Entrepreneurship Week to call to action one of the major global objectives - gender equality.”
The speakers included Sarah Ali Choudhury, an Indian chef and TV presenter who is breaking down the boundaries for women in the restaurant industry, Andrea Gamson, a former BU student and founder and CEO of Social Starters, Su Johnston from Crowdfunder and Mei Pan, founder and owner of Yobu among many others.
Dr Ayatakshi Endow said: “It’s important to have these brilliant women together to learn from their experiences, to hear of the challenges and successes that they have in order for us to see that it is possible for everyone.
“We always talk about bias against women but these are women who have overcome the biases so it’s inspiring to hear their experiences, see what they have done to become so successful and to learn how they are supporting other women.”
At the event, Andrea Gamson delivered the keynote talk and spoke about her time at BU before going to work in the media and then taking some time out to volunteer in Africa before setting up Social Starters which she continues to run. Social Starters is a social enterprise that supports other social enterprises by matching business professionals with social enterprises who can benefit from their skills or experience.
Andrea offered her top piece of advice to aspiring entrepreneurs: “If you want to solve issues and do it through business is to get involved in networks around you, you will have access to all the opportunities, the funds, the other incubators and that will open up your world and get you going in the right direction.”
Mei Pan, who founded Yobu after a career in the pharmaceutical industry, spoke about her take on facing challenges as an entrepreneur: “Everything we do in our lives, there will always be constant challenges and hurdles, but that’s the fun of doing things that are unfamiliar to you. We deal with all the challenges that get in our way and we solve them and then we move on and hopefully in the right direction so we can do better with what we’re passionate about.”
Su Johnston, Partnerships Manager at Crowdfunder, also came to the Women in Entrepreneurship event and gave her advice for future entrepreneurs: “Get out there, talk to each other, and give it a go. Check out Crowdfunder, of course, and I’m going to steal somebody else’s words here, but just do it.”
Hear more from some of the brilliant speakers who came to the Women in Entrepreneurship event in the video below.