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Back to News Theodora Newman from BBB

26th January 2023

Inspirational Speakers Announced for 2023 International Women’s Day


Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund

To celebrate 2023 International Women’s Day on Wednesday 8 March, Pink Link are inviting women in business from across the North to join them at a dynamic conference at Preston North End FC.

This year’s IWD theme, #EmbraceEquity, is a call to focus on gender equity. We need to believe in a fair and equal world for women unconditionally and to take action to implement these beliefs in our community and our business. Backed by the United Nations, women across the world will answer a collective call for action to embrace change and to implement gender parity.

Sponsored by the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, which is delivered by the British Business Bank, this business focused day is packed full with exhibitors, networking and guest speakers to help support, empower and promote female entrepreneurship in the region.

The full day event includes a delicious 3 course lunch by Heathcotes and three masterclasses specifically chosen to help women to build strong, resilient and innovative businesses.

With lots of opportunities to make new connections and build a strong authentic network, women can meet potential new customers and suppliers, gain valuable business knowledge, expand brand awareness and generate leads. Women looking to scale up their business will gain valuable insight into the funding and resources available, the practical solutions they can implement straight away and discover how to protect their intellectual property.

Theodora Newman, Policy and Strategy Manager at the British Business Bank, said: “Greater support to female entrepreneurs and unlocking their untapped potential is a priority for the financial services industry and for the wider UK economy.  When we invest in and support female-led businesses, we not only level the playing field and create a more equitable society, but we also reap the economic benefits of tapping into a wider pool of talent and ideas.

“The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund’s equity fund managers are signatories of the UK Government’s Investing in Women Code, a drive to improve female entrepreneurs access to finance from the financial services sector. Whilst we’ve seen an increase  in female-led businesses over the past few years, there is still a long way to go in creating a more diverse and inclusive business ecosystem.”

After lunch, two award-winning inspirational female speakers will address the audience. Police whistle blower, Maggie Oliver, exposed the Rochdale child sex abuse ring case and the lack of action that was taken to bring the culprits to task. Today her charity, The Maggie Oliver Foundation campaigns to help survivors of abuse transform their pain into power as she continues to fight for justice for victims across the UK. She will be joined by the queen of haulage, Sandra Cottam-Shea of SCS Logistics. Working with over 130 hauliers across the UK and Europe, she has built a successful business in a traditionally male dominated industry. Her ‘can do’ attitude has been the driving force behind this multi-million-pound business which keeps goods – and the economy moving.

Coral Horn, founder of Pink Link said: “International Women’s Day brings together business leaders and entrepreneurs from all sectors to share ideas, explore collaborations and be inspired! We’re inviting organisations who stand against bias, stereotypes, and discrimination, who want to work towards a world where difference is valued and celebrated to join us.”

About the Investing in Women Code

Launched by HM Treasury, the Investing in Women Code commits organisations to promoting female entrepreneurship by having a nominated member of the senior leadership team who will be responsible for supporting equality in access to finance. It also increases the transparency of financial services firms’ data concerning support for female entrepreneurs and encourages adoption of internal practices to improve the outlook for female entrepreneurs. The Investing in Women Code partners and signatory firms share a commitment to work in partnership to make the United Kingdom one of the most attractive countries in the world to start and grow a business by advancing female entrepreneurship.

More than seven in 10 (71%) NPIF funded businesses had at least one woman in their senior management team according to data from the mid-term evaluation of the Fund. Of these, around three in seven had women accounting for at least half of the senior management team.

 The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.


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