Pink Shoes Leave Positive Footprints...


World Business Women’s Day

On 22 October 2020 at 15.00 BST Pink Shoe Savvitas is hosting the first ever #WBWDay

A global gathering of inspiring women business leaders actively engaged and committed to taking collaborative action to promote and support women in business across cultures, sectors and nations

Opening remarks from Alison Rose, CEO NatWest Group

Global Sessions chaired by Sue Lawton MBE & Helene Martin Gee

By invitation only, frontline females in business and industry sharing best practice from nation to nation to challenge the adverse impact of Covid-19 on women in work – the so called ‘Pink Recession’

Zoom room discussions chaired by international women leaders from a variety of different sectors

Topics include technology, science, innovation, finance, investment, social impact and inclusion

Exchanging proven ideas to create shortcuts to tangible outcomes by adapting/flexing strategies from one nation to the next to produce a collaborative Global Report and action plan

Pink Shoe Savvitas is delighted to collaborate on #WBWDay with:

NatWest – All-Party Parliamentary Group for Inclusive Entrepreneurship – Catalyst for Women Entrepreneurs – Global Entrepreneurship Week – GEN UK – Malta Business Network – OWIT – Progeny – WEConnect Europe – Women in Leadership – Women & Enterprise All-Party Parliamentary Group – Quantum Leaps

@PinkShoeClub #WBWDay


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An exciting new initiative for UK women business owners!

MP HERoes champions female enterprise across all sectors and industries in every area of the UK.

MPs throughout the country are able to nominate or are recommended a successful woman business owner in their constituency – a female founder with a typical turnover of around £50,000 or more.

Created by Pink Shoe Founder Helene Martin Gee and supported by Progeny MP HERoes stimulates grass roots women in business and creates a national alliance of local, relatable role models. Across all parties, regions and sectors, MP HERoes is a truly inclusive UK-wide initiative.

Pink Shoe was motivated by the outcomes of the Rose Review and the MP HERoes programme directly responds to the findings of the national UK Economic Blueprint for Women (EB) Roadshow supported by NatWest, and its annual FQ Shard events supported by Addidi Wealth and the Enterprise Research Centre.

The first MP HERoes celebrations take place online and go live in November 2020. Sponsored by Progeny and Pink Shoe and linking Global Entrepreneurship Week and Parliament Week.

Anna Sofat of Progenysays:

“MP HERoes is an exciting project that celebrates female enterprise in every part of the UK and will raise the profile of local women business owners.

We place women at the heart of everything we do. As the voice of women’s wealth, we recognise the importance of role models for female entrepreneurs and wish Pink Shoe and MP HERoes every success”.

MP HERoes is supported by Craig Tracey MP, who says:

“As Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Women and Enterprise and an active MP in my North Warwickshire constituency I recognise the valuable contribution women business owners make to the local, regional and national economy.

So I wish Pink Shoe every success and welcome the MP HERoes initiative and the opportunity it creates to put a spotlight on the many dedicated and successful women running businesses throughout the country”.

Julie Baker, Head of Enterprise and Community Finance at NatWest says:

” The Rose Review demonstrated that advancing female entrepreneurship represents a £250bn opportunity for the UK economy. NatWest / RBS is already taking action, for example through its ‘Back Her Business’ programme.

With MP HERoes, Pink Shoe will help deliver an accessible peer group for women in business and raise awareness across Parliament and throughout the country of the vital contribution of female enterprise.

I welcome the MP HERoes initiative as a route to highlighting relatable female role models for the UK’s women business owners “.

To find out more about MP HERoes please email

EB Roadshow Outputs

Tangible ideas and creative outcomes from the UK’s female founders

The EB Roadshow visited Cardiff, London, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Birmingham to gather ideas from women business owners. Outcomes from each of the cities are below.

EB Roadshow Cardiff

EB Roadshow at The Shard FQ5

EB Roadshow Edinburgh

EB Roadshow Liverpool

EB Roadshow Birmingham

Bringing together all the ideas from the national roadshow the final session was held at the House of Commons with participants from each of the five roadshow events. Here are the final outcomes that will contribute to the NatWest / Pink Shoe White Paper.

EB House of Commons

A big thank you to Sharniya Ferdinand and Rosie Williamson of NatWest for capturing all the ideas!

UEL EB Report: Female Friendly Business Support

It has been estimated that with targeted support female entrepreneurs could contribute a £100bn boost to the UK economy over the next ten years. How we define and develop business support for female entrepreneurs in the future will be key to unlocking this enormous economic potential.

Today, UEL and the UK Economic Blueprint for Women launch an exciting research report that reveals how we can deliver the best business support for female entrepreneurs. See the full report here: 

Background: Female entrepreneurship is on the rise in the UK. The proportion of women going into business is increasing and closing the enterprise gender gap. However, the number of women engaged in entrepreneurial activity in Britain is comparatively low with men still twice as likely to be early-stage entrepreneurs as women.  This disparity represents an opportunity for the UK, as increasing female participation in entrepreneurship to the same level as men could have a substantial economic impact.

Barriers to successful female enterprise such as accessing finance, confidence in business skills and lack of visible role models are well documented. However, the business support landscape for female entrepreneurs in the UK appears uncoordinated, driven by a patchwork of self-organised networks and short term funded initiatives.

The University of East London and the Pink Shoe Club are working in partnership to enable women to achieve their maximum potential and participate in the country’s economic growth through fostering, supporting and accelerating female led entrepreneurship.

The long-term purpose of this research is to define what ‘female friendly support’ means via the lived experiences of female founders. We asked female business owners how they discovered about support provision, what services they used and if the organisation they received support from was perceived as ‘female friendly’.

Martin Longstaff, UEL Director of Research & Enterprise

I welcome this research which highlights the real-life experiences of the UK’s female entrepreneurs. Its encouraging that so much attention is now being focused on stimulating and supporting women to start and scale their businesses. I hope the UEL EB report will add to the evidence of what is actually needed to support our amazing British female entrepreneurs.

Helene Martin Gee, Pink Shoe Founder & Parliamentary Adviser on Entrepreneurship

UEL EB report: What Constitutes Female Friendly Business Support

Comments: Website: Female friendly support for women entrepreneurs – a report by the University of East London – Wise Sherpa and support for women entrepreneurs (IP address:,


EB Roadshow Liverpool

Liverpool gave a very warm welcome to the EB Roadshow supported by NatWest. Discussions were held over afternoon tea at the iconic Panoramic 34, where ideas were shared with the group after lively and stimulating discussions to agree key points to put forward. Each roadshow event covers the same topics as EB gathers views from across the UK to contribute to its White Paper.

There were five groups each discussing a different topic.A panel led by Heather Waters with Sara McKee and Vanda Green responded to the suggestions.

Sincere thanks to the business leaders who chaired the five discussion groups:

Better backing for female business – Alison Loveday – Partner, Kennedy’s

Innovation rules! – Angela Moretta – Relationship Director Commercial Banking, NatWest

Securing the talent to scale – Ruth Kirby – Senior Relationship Manager Commercial Banking, NatWest

Business for good is good for business – Jacqueline Winstanley – Founder & CEO, Universal Inclusion

Barriers or opportunities? – Maggie O’Carroll – Chief Executive, the Women’s Organisation.

All the ideas coming forward from Liverpool are available here  Outputs UK Economic Blueprint for Women Roadshow Liverpool

And will be included in the EB White Paper 2019.

Huge thanks to everyone who contributed, to our wonderful discussion chairs and panel and especially to Sharniya Ferdinand from NatWest.

#FQ5 International Forum at the Shard

Pink Shoe held its fifth International Forum for female founders and business owners in partnership with the Enterprise Research Centre and Addidi at the Warwick Business School in The Shard. A powerful group of women and men discussed entrepreneurship, scaling business and technology.

As part of the UK Economic Blueprint Roadshow supported by NatWest, delegates discussed a series of questions exploring how to encourage and support women to scale-up their businesses. Outcomes from #FQ5 will contribute to the EB White Paper to be published in late summer 2019.

EB Roadshow Cardiff

Cardiff was a brilliant start for the EB Roadshow which was launched at the National Assembly, hosted by Joyce Watson AM.

As part of its initiative to develop the UK Economic Blueprint for Women (EB), Pink Shoe in partnership with NatWest created this national programme of regional roadshows to reach out to women-owned businesses (WBs) in local communities.

See the ideas generated in Cardiff here: Outputs UK Economic Blueprint for Women Roadshow Cardiff

Background: The EB roadshow is a key element of the UK Economic Blueprint with its aim to advance female enterprise development throughout the UK. It brings together entrepreneurs, enterprise leaders and champions to collaborate, share best practice and ideas.

This collaboration will raise awareness of female enterprise as an expanding mechanism for economic growth and identify key drivers for greater female participation in the economy as well as explor

ing the merits of ongoing collaboration for key stakeholders.

Interactive discussions take place between leading business owners, female founders, financiers, professional advisers and academics, all of whom have local knowledge and a global perspective. Roundtable groups are allocated a theme to debate and deliver key action points. The EB Roadshow:

  • examines the conditions needed for women-owned businesses to thrive, highlighting outstanding examples of innovation and best practice from around the UK and beyond;
  • engages with leaders of initiatives that are actively supporting and promoting female enterprise and analyse the challenges of changing world and local markets

In addition, new initiatives may emerge from shared actions to improve the reach of EB and its goals and to increase our social and economic impact.The theme of working together for future growth runs through the entire Economic Blueprint. We examine how and when WBs thrive as well as engaging delegates in action planning to meet common challenges and opportunities.

The Roadshow began October 2018 at the National Assembly in Cardiff.

Next stop is Liverpool on 26th February then on 25th March the Roadshow will be in Edinburgh.

To ensure EB delivers tangible outcomes, delegates at each roadshow event agree 5 Action Points that will inform, educate and support women in business. The ideas from each roadshow will be compiled into a White Paper to be submitted in 2019 to Government, across Parliament and to appropriate All-party Parliamentary Groups as well as throughout the enterprise ecosystem..

The EB Roadshow programme is generously supported by NatWest.


Send a message in time! #100years

Make history and add your personal contribution to the exciting Pink Shoe Time Capsule celebrating 100 years of women’s voices.

Highlighting the progress women have made in the past 100 years, the Time Capsule marks the 2018 centenary of the 1st women getting the vote, linking with Parliament’s Vote100 Project, and also celebrating Pink Shoe achievements over the past 10 years. The Time Capsule pays tribute to women’s accomplishments, aims and aspirations. Accessible to people of all cultures, ages and abilities, its a commemorative memorial as well as a message of hope and aspiration to future generations.

Women from across the UK and beyond are sending a personal message in time. A message from you to your future self and to future generations of women. 

Questions you could consider when creating your message include:

  • Which women from history do you most admire and why?
  • What has 100 years of women’s suffrage meant to women in the UK? And for you personally?
  • Who is your present-day female model role model? And how do they inspire you?
  • What do you hope will have been achieved for women in 10 years time?
  • What changes for women in Parliament do you want to see over the next 10 years?
  • What do you wish you’d known 10 years ago? What would you like to tell your future self?
  • What is your proudest personal achievement?
  • What is your greatest hope for future generations of women?
  • What would you wish to be achieved for women over the next 100 years?
  • What actions /activities /initiatives should Pink Shoe create to help make this happen?

Or none of the above – just what is right for you!

The Time Capsule was launched at the Speaker’s House last year. Bringing together films, photographs, artwork, crafts, poems, songs, mementoes, texts, tweets, social media and audio messages…. You could choose to simply write your message and email it to us with a selfie, or you may wish to be more creative.

All contributions are welcome, from women and men of all ages and from every part of the world. Whatever you decide your message to be, we’re keen to include your voice! Please send your message along with a photograph/selfie to Hannah Grover

Everyone is welcome at our special celebration on June 28th 2018 at Parliament. To find out more and book your ticket please contact Sheila Williamson:

The Time Capsule will be opened in 2028 to share the messages it holds on the anniversary of all women getting the right to vote. It will then be ‘buried’ again until 2118!

Pink Shoe Time Capsule – 100 years of women’s voices

To commemorate the 2018 Centenary of women getting the vote and also to celebrate our own 10th anniversary Pink Shoe launched its exciting Time Capsule project. The Time Capsule was announced by Pink Shoe Founder Helene Martin Gee  at the State Rooms of the Speaker’s House by kind permission of Mr Speaker, The Rt Hon John Bercow MP. 





The multi-media Pink Shoe Time Capsule highlights the progress women have made through history and celebrates the cross cultural, cross sectoral nature of the network.


The voices of women will truly be heard in the Pink Shoe Time Capsule. Women from across the UK and beyond are asked to contribute – female MPs and Peers from all parties and the many women working in all aspects of Parliament; along with local officials, academics, artists, professionals, athletes, business owners, service women, third sector, community workers ….from school students to those in retirement, all are welcome to add their voices and make their mark on history.

The Time Capsule marks the 2018 the centenary of the Representation of the People Act, which gave some women the vote for the first time and will be ‘buried’ somewhere in Parliament. We’re linking with the Vote100 Project which is curating an exciting series of innovative events in Parliament and across the UK that will celebrate this historic anniversary.

We’d love you to get involved!

Please email Hannah Grover: to be part of this unique project and send your own message in time!

Pink Shoe Charity Partnership with Beanstalk

Pink Shoe is proud to be supporting children’s literacy charity Beanstalk, who urgently need volunteers!  

Becoming a Beanstalk reading helper is a great way to make a difference to a child’s life and enjoy a rewarding volunteering experience. You will provide one-to-one support to help improve primary school children’s reading.

For more information please go to:

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