A sample of the club’s happenings…
#FQ Forum at the Shard
Once again we were back at The Shard thanks to Warwick Business School and our wonderful sponsoring partners Addidi and the Enterprise Research Centre. Amazingly, 2020 was our 6th International Forum. Bringing together entrepreneurs and female founders from the UK and beyond. Keynote speakers included Dr Yvonne Thompson CBE and Anna Sofat, along with Pink Shoe Founder Helene Martin Gee.
Each season Pink Shoe hosts an Ambassadors’ reception for members, guests, and partnering organisations. Its an opportunity to meet socially and enjoy the company of other successful leaders.
Pink Shoe hosted a lively and thoughtful debate on the EU referendum. For ‘Remain’, we had Baroness Kramer, Emma Reynolds MP and Alex Mitchell (European Confederation of Young Entrepreneurs), and for ‘Leave’ we were joined by Chris Grayling MP, Bernard Jenkin MP and Olivia Cooper (Women for Britain). The debate was chaired by Tim Evans, Professor of Business & Political Economy at Middlesex University. The audience was a mix of ‘Remain’ and ‘Leave’, but ultimately ‘Leave’ was judged as having won. How apt…
#FQ at The Shard
Pink Shoe’s latest International Female Quotient (FQ) Forum took place in October at The Shard in London, in the Warwick Business School venue. The conference highlighted key research findings on women’s enterprise and updated progress on the exciting ten-point plan launched last year and the deployment framework that underpins the development of the first UK Economic Blueprint for Women, based on the highly successful model created by Women impacting Public Policy in the US.
Organised by Pink Shoe in collaboration with the Enterprise Research Centre, the UK’s leading independent Research body on SMEs and enterprise. The international partnership with Quantum Leaps was celebrated by its President, Jennifer Biscgelie who flew in especially from the US.
The keynote speaker was The Rt Hon Caroline Dineage MP, other key speakers included Lord (Jonathan) Marland, Deb Leary OBE, Craig Tracey MP, Baroness (Lorely) Burt, Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne, Christine Hamilton, Joanna Santinon, Melanie Eusebe and Maggie Semple OBE.
Pink Shoe Global Entrepreneurship Week
The annual Global Entrepreneurship Week event is held at Parliament and has so far won a ‘High Impact’ Award every year. A round table chaired by Sue Lawton MBE explored how the UK’s entrepreneurs #MakeItHappen, and how they can be used to inspire the country’s future businessmen and women. We were hosted at the House of Lords by Baroness Uddin and speakers included Alan Mak MP, Craig Tracey MP, Alex Mitchell, founder of Young Brits and entrepreneurs Jodie & Ben Cook, founders of Little Tykes
A special afternoon tea was held to commemorate the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta and celebrate, debate and reflect on our freedoms and rights. Members enjoyed an energising talk from Curator Melanie Unwin about the exciting Women’s Suffragette artwork we were one of the first to see this new work! We then heard from Kirsty Fife, Parliamentary Archivist with insights into Magna Carta in this historic year as well as its relevance to our lives today. The event culminated in a top notch tea kindly hosted by Baroness Jenkin.
State Opening of Parliament
With a dress code of ‘Ascot hats’, Pink Shoe Ambassadors had another memorable day for our regular State Opening event, overlooking the Royal procession followed by an excellent lunch at the House of Commons before going into the Chamber to hear the start of debate on the Queen’s Speech. Pink Shoe runs this event every year, with places allocated by ballot.
Crowdfunding Enterprise Forum at the House of Lords
We heard from an array of fantastic speakers including Darren Westlake, founder of Crowdcube, Julia Groves, Chairman of the UK Crowdfunding Association, and entrepreneurs Andrew Wordsworth, Barry Laden MBE & Gem Misa. The debate, chaired by the Earl of Erroll, was animated and absorbing.
Pink Shoe at the WIL Biannual Meeting at the French Parliament
Pink Shoe Ambassadors joined the European Network for Women in Leadership (WIL) at its biannual meeting hosted by Claude Bartolone, President of the French National Assembly. Along with US Global Women’s Innovation Network, 100 high-powered women met to discuss solutions to balancing transparency and privacy in the digital age. Among the distinguished speakers were Maureen Ohlhausen, US Federal Trade Commissioner; Delphine Ernotte Cunci, Senior Executive Vice President, Orange France; and Sophie Pedder, Paris bureau chief of The Economist.
Enterprise Forum at the Museum of Liverpool
The forum was chaired by Jill Pay, with keynote speaker Steve Rotheram MP. Discussion groups came up with excellent ideas that were debated with the panel of Nikki Hesford, Jeanette Kehoe-Perkinson, Stu Anderson & Helene Martin Gee. With students from Alsop High & Broughton Hall, and members of the Schools Parliament. Congratulations to Una McBride & Chris Martin, along with Gabby, Megan & Natasha plus our wonderful student scribes. Thanks to Museum of Liverpool for their sponsorship, especially Julie Ehlan and team.
Leaders Forum: Business Mentoring Master Class
Dinah Bennett OBE, Co-founder of the International Centre for Enterprise & Entrepreneurship, produced an exhilarating interactive seminar for us on business mentoring. Entrepreneurs and business leaders honed their mentoring skills and signed up to support new and emerging businesses via the ‘Get Mentoring’ programme. Delegates are now qualified to mentor SMEs and Pink Shoe is further supporting its mentors via Vanda Green, head of the Pink Shoe Leaders Forum and a longstanding small business mentor. The event was so popular we held further seminars in Manchester and London.
Cocktails & Jazz at the Royal Garden Hotel
A truly fabulous evening which raised £20,000 for Save the Children. Jeffrey Archer gave a rousing speech and inspired guests to generously donate, we then enjoyed brilliant jazz from ‘The Bright Young Band’ during a sumptuous tasting supper. Big thanks to everyone who gave so much, to the donors and buyers of the wonderful auction lots, and to the hotel and staff for their magnificent sponsorship and the superb service.
For International Women’s Day, Pink Shoe announced its Roll of Honour In recognition of innovative women – inspiring role models who have been brave enough to break the mould. At an afternoon tea in the House of Lords, hosted by Baroness Morris of Bolton along with many fabulous members and friends.
Pink Shoe Pop-Up at Panoramic 34, Liverpool
Champagne afternoon tea with business leaders from the North West & London. Hosted by Una McBride & Helene Martin Gee with great speakers including Jill Pay, Sylvia Tidy-Harris and Alison Loveday.
A roundtable discussion at the House of Lords with the South Asia Democratic Forum NGO, on the essential role of women in South Asia. Hosted by Lord Ahmed with Helene Martin Gee & Carmen Godeanu of SADF. Presentations from Madi Sharma of EESC, Dr Shaheena Janjuha-Jivraj, and Sue Lawton of WEConnect.
Pink Shoe Summer Luncheon
Pink Shoe celebrated all things French on Bastille Day at our summer luncheon, with fabulous cheeses, salads and charcuterie plus matching wines. Members also enjoyed Pimms and the tastes of English summertime – a truly cross-channel experience! The Pink Shoe calendar includes regular wining and dining; there is, after all, no work without play.