Building on the FSB research, Women Entrepreneurs - the Untapped Potential, South hams Chair Alison Theaker organised a conference at Plymouth University in June which over 60 people attended. The event featured FSB Chair of Diversity, Helen Walbey, as well as representatives from high street banks talking about how businesses could access finance and a session from Alison on finding a mentor. The event made a small profit, and it was decided to give the money to the top student on the MSc in Entrepreneurship. The prize was given to the successful student at the graduation ceremony on Plymouth Hoe at the end of September. Here is Lisa Fleming's reaction to wining the prize:
"I wanted to thank you. I'm so chuffed to have won the award and it seems to be impressing many companies. It was lovely that you also presented me the award. The prize was fantastic too - it will help with my studies A LOT thank you!"
"I didn't have a chance to talk to you in depth but my Doctorate thesis aims to infiltrate 'entrepreneurship education' (EE) further into the secondary school curriculum as my many years as a careers adviser I witnessed a huge gap in personal development and employability skills among job seekers. The Federation of Small Businesses ties nicely in with this plan as it encourages and celebrates business start-ups, which I feel has a massive positive impact on not only the economy but socially, and individually. Especially in the growing area of 'social entrepreneurship' where doing good can benefit society and help society and individuals feel good too.
"As I mentioned to you briefly at the ceremony I have broken the mould and am the first to achieve a degree and masters in my family, and I intend to set a precedent to young people who feel they lack the skills and opportunity. I feel EE can target these young people and help them to become upwardly mobile, without having to be academically gifted."
"I intend to find lots of organisations encouraging business start-ups and the FSB networking meetings sounds like a good place to start."
"I had some more good news yesterday. I have been offered 3 months work at the University with the Faculty of Business Admissions, Marketing and Recruitment Department which will take me nicely up to my Doctorate in January! I can't believe how it's all happening. I'm so excited!!"