Women Entrepreneur’s Workout to Inspire Inclusion for International Women’s Day
For over a century, International Women’s Day has been a call to accelerate women's equality.
This year, International Women’s Day (IWD) falls on 8th March 2024 and has a specific aim to #inspireinclusion. The IWD organisation notes that, “when we inspire others to understand and value women's inclusion, we forge a better world” and, “when women themselves are inspired to be included, there's a sense of belonging, relevance and empowerment”.
In particular, the IWD team calls out the need to ‘recruit, train and develop female talent’, and to ‘support women and girls into leadership, decision-making, business and STEM’ as important stepstones in the pursuit of this universal goal.
This is one of the reasons that Southampton Science Park and globally renowned business incubator, SETsquared, have joined forces to create a Women Entrepreneurs’ Workout to coincide with International Women’s Day in 2024.
This two-day workshop-led event takes place on 6th and 7th March at Southampton Science Park and is designed specifically for female founders of digital, technology and science-based ventures.
Under the guidance of expert business mentors, the Women Entrepreneur’s Workout gives participants an inclusive and supportive environment to work in a small group of likeminded women to build the foundations of a successful business. Find out more about the Women Entrepreneurs’ Workout and apply before 28 February.
Careful consideration was given to the idea of organising a gender-specific event. However in the context of ongoing gender inequality in the technology sphere (while the UK’s technology sector employs around 2 million people, just 26% of these are women), the hope is that this event, specifically for persons identifying as female, will help boost confidence in the value of women in STEM and entrepreneurial environments.
The value that women bring to the table is well documented. For example:
- The UK economy would grow by £250bn if as many women as men founded their own businesses.
- Investors are increasingly interested in female entrepreneurship: the Investing in Women Code accounts for 39% of UK venture and growth equity deals in the SME lending market.
- Women rate highest in 75% of the competencies that make outstanding leaders. Further, women tend to be motivated by purpose and achieve goals through communication and collaboration, all essential attributes for a successful start-up.
Mentoring and support is a known critical success factor in releasing this potential. A recent survey reported that 58% of women who accessed mentoring felt that it helped increase confidence in their abilities and 54% were inspired to achieve more.