An arts expert, communications guru and an architect are among the 100 entrepreneurs from across the UK selected to appear in a digital campaign presenting inspiring women business owners, by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).
The women entrepreneurs from Northern Ireland are: Riki Neill, owner of RNN Communications in Ballynahinch; Joan McCoy, Director of White Ink Architects in Belfast; Patricia Casement, Managing Director of Trackars Healthcare in Downpatrick; Mary Nagele, Chief Executive of Arts and Business in Belfast; and Tina McKenzie, Managing Director of Diamond Recruitment. Sharing their experiences of setting up their own businesses, our women entrepreneurs offered the following advice to other local women:
Riki Neill said: “The most difficult step is to take the decision to become self-employed. Once you’ve made it, throw your passion into everything you do, and surround yourself with great people.”
Joan McCoy said: “Take the time to work out where you excel, where you add the most value to your business and what you enjoy the most.”
Patricia Casement said: “Keep a personal journal alongside your business diary to record those end of day reflections or learnings.”
Mary Nagele said: “Ensure that your personal values and passion are at the heart of what you do and how you do it.”
Tina McKenzie said: “Only do it if you love it. Hobbies are not good businesses usually.”
FSB will be sharing these and other women’s images and inspiring quotes on social media to mark International Women’s Day. People can engage with the campaign and join the conversation using the hashtag #100FSBwomen.
Helen Walbey, Chair of the FSB Women in Enterprise Taskforce, said: “Research shows that women are less likely than their male counterparts to know a person in business and, as a result, have fewer opportunities to benefit from exposure to others with business experience and are less likely to see people like themselves succeeding.
“I’m really excited about the 100 FSB Women campaign. We’re utilising digital platforms to raise the visibility of some really exceptional women. These women come from all sectors and each has a special story to tell and valuable advice to impart to other women.
“With this being the 100 year anniversary of when the first women got the right to vote, following the suffragettes’ campaigning, we felt it was fitting to feature 100 women FSB members and share their wealth of advice and inspiration with women all over the world.”
The UK currently has 5.7 million small businesses and self-employed, but it is estimated that could be boosted by a further 1.2 million new enterprises led by women. This untapped business potential of women can be tackled, in part, by increasing the visibility of role models for women entrepreneurs, according to an FSB report.