Kingston University’s Women in Enterprise Network provides boost for businesses

A network set up by Kingston Business School to address the challenges female entrepreneurs face, has gone from strength to strength since its inception.

Kingston University’s Women in Enterprise Network was founded by Dr Yuliana Topazly, a senior lecturer in entrepreneurship at the business school. The network has held a variety of virtual events since its launch in March.

The idea behind the initiative came from the Alison Rose Review of Female Entrepreneurship – an independent report commissioned by HM Treasury. It identified key barriers faced by women starting and growing businesses and suggested ways of unlocking this untapped talent, which estimates predict could add around £250billion in value to the UK economy. Currently, only one in three UK entrepreneurs are female.

“I’m delighted to see the government is taking an important step to understand challenges female entrepreneurs face, but also looking at the ways those challenges can be addressed,” Dr Topazly said.

“The network will be able to support other initiatives and create a safe networking environment for like-minded entrepreneurs. Kingston University has a great reputation for enterprise and that combined with the University’s commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion, encouraged me to launch the network.”

The network, which has more than 50 members, is free to join and is open to Kingston University students, alumni, staff and women in the local community. It runs monthly events with guest speakers and one-to-one sessions that provide an opportunity to discuss business ideas, get feedback and access expert advice. A bi-monthly peer-to-peer support group offers another avenue to discuss ideas about starting and growing businesses.

“The network provides a fantastic opportunity to start and grow your business,” Dr Topazly said.

“We offer members one-to-one advice from experts in their field, as well as support for their business. We also provide confidential advice to make sure women have the best chance of succeeding in the world of enterprise.”

Hearing from the network’s guest speakers has been a particular highlight for network members. Speakers have included Kaitlin Fritz, co-founder and chief operating officer of children’s virtual reality education platform Musemio, and Sneha Shah, founder and chief executive officer of Curaty – a research-driven company connecting art with business.

A virtual Christmas networking event is planned for 15 December. Visit the website for more information.