Inspiring morning at #shemeansbusiness event in London at the Corinthia Hotel hosted by Facebook, FSB and Enterprise Nation. 

Over 200 women attended to hear from Facebook’s VP EMEA Nicola Mendelssohn, FSB’s National Policy Chair for Health & Diversity Helen Walbey and Enterprise Nation Founder Emma Jones. 

 The message was clear – When women succeed, we all win. 

Currently, only one in five of businesses started are set up by women. However, of the women wanting to start up a business, an additional £10billion could be added to the UK economy by 2020 comprising 340,000 new businesses which could mean 425000 new jobs. The main factor holding women back from taking that step into the enterprise is confidence. 

 To help build that confidence in terms of digital skills Enterprise Nation’s aim is to offer training to 10000 businesses to enable them to gain the necessary digital skills to start and grow their businesses. 

 One of the aims of this #shemeansbusiness event was to showcase role models, Sheryl Sandberg’s quote “You can’t be what you can’t see” was reiterated and we were reminded that we need to tell other women about running a business and support women thinking if starting their own entrepreneurial journey. 

 We therefore got to hear from three incredible women about their success stories of starting and growing their own businesses to date including Rosie Mazumder of Cake Masters Magazine, Martha Keith of Love Give Ink, Mel Bound of This Mum Runs.

 They all agreed on the importance that technology had played in growing their audience, their following and their community and that the support of networks and organisations supporting small businesses were essential for encouraging more women to start businesses. 

We were fortunate then to participate in a workshop by the Creative Shop on Mobile Studio, reiterating the fact that technology is democratising and speeding up advertising and promotion. It was interesting to see the number of apps that are available to easily and simply create professional-looking campaigns. 

Priya Monga from Facebook then gave a brilliant update on how you can use Facebook effectively to grow your business. The buzz for Facebook Live was about using it to build authentic relationships. Interesting too to hear how different levels of advertising from ‘boost’ a list to power editor can really impact the reach of your business. A good reminder too on the use of insights and the benefits that measuring the success and reach if campaigns can have. 

The event was a success in every respect. We were inspired, we committed to making it happen, we discovered how to create and learnt how to really grow a small business with straightforward mobile strategies. 

You only had to see the audience’s reaction to the day to know that #shemeansbusiness and will be taking firm action to #makeithappen