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5 February, 2021 - 13:26 By Tony Quested

Women entrepreneurs still facing capital punishment

Women entrepreneurs in the UK are only receiving one per cent of all available venture capital funding in the UK and the issue is being addressed by a Cambridge event on Tuesday February 9.

Four female business founders will address Motivation:The Journey from Zero at an inspirational session of Enterprise Tuesday staged by Cambridge Judge Business School.

The evangelists are panellists Zoe Peden, technology entrepreneur and VC Investor, FutureWorldVC; Helene Martin-Gee, founder of Pink Shoe; and Angela Malik-Agarwal, Partner in Think Hospitality and founder of Planet Nourish – and chair Rebecca Hill, founder of Wise Sherpa.

The Zoom session explores the context in which women entrepreneurs operate including the impact of COVID-19 on female-led businesses. 

Many women run businesses in the 3Cs arena (care, catering, and cleaning sectors) as well as retail which are among the hardest hit by the pandemic both from a health and financial perspective. 

Enterprise Tuesday aims to set out the talent base among companies led by women and will also do some myth busting around the youth and unicorn culture currently dominating entrepreneurship, It questions whether these obsessions are also putting many women off becoming entrepreneurs in the first place.  

Tuesday’s inspirational leaders include Zoe Peden, an experienced tech entrepreneur and VC investor for Ananda Impact Ventures with over 20 years’ operating and board experience in technology companies.

She co-founded one of the UK’s top special education apps, MyChoicePad and now spends her time looking for Europe’s most impactful tech entrepreneurs to invest in and support to scale. 

Zoe also sits on an investment committee for UnLtd and is also a visiting lecturer at Cass Business School. Previous achievements include Elle Magazine UK Female Social Entrepreneur of the Year, Finalist Global Mobile Awards and BAA Female-led investment of the Year.

A serial entrepreneur with businesses from technology to healthy snacks, Helene Martin-Gee is founder of award-winning businesswomen’s network Pink Shoe Savvitas, with patrons Theresa May and Tessa Sanderson. 

As Parliamentary adviser on entrepreneurship and international relations, Helene has worked at the centre of UK Government for 20 years; engaging all political parties on government think-tanks for female enterprise and entrepreneurship. 

Board member of three Parliamentary groups, she established the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Entrepreneurship, chairing its advisory board. Having initiated the UK Economic Blueprint for Women and national roadshow supported by NatWest, Helene led on its 2020 Government White Paper: Leveraging Opportunity for Female Entrepreneurship. 

She is additionally a non-executive director, investor, and media commentator; RSA Fellow; adviser to the Institute for Creative & Cultural Enterprise at Goldsmiths, London; Scale-Up Institute Ambassador, and previously adviser to Innovate UK and Hays. Her United States non-executive director roles include Quantum Leaps; WishKnish and VeeSee.

Angela Malik-Agarwal,  partner in Think Hospitality and founder of Planet Nourish is a qualified CA from KPMG, Imperial College MBA, a top UK chef with classical training from Leith’s School of Food & Wine, a successful broadcaster and food entrepreneur and an award-winning culinary trainer. Her experience includes bootstrapping restaurant startups, raising institutional investment for concept chains, to advising c-suite contract catering industry leaders. 

Angela is a partner in Think Hospitality. This collective of hospitality business leaders aims to empower the growth and development of hospitality brands through consulting, investments, joint venture partnerships and events. 

She is also the founder of Planet Nourish, a new online platform that works with British Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic families to tackle diet-related illness and provides recipes and advice on adapting our cultural eating habits. 

Angela was the first Indian woman contestant on BBC2’s professional chef competition ‘Great British Menu 2017’, and a founding panellist on Radio 4’s ‘The Kitchen Cabinet’.

Wise Sherpa founder Rebecca Hill has a background working for major global professional and financial services organisations including EY where she was a global director specialising in people and organisational change leading major programmes including EY’s award winning and global Women. Fast Forward – an EY flagship programme profiled annually at WEF Davos. She has a strong interest in the economic empowerment of women and is a UK delegate to the Women20 (W20) – an official engagement group of the G20. 

As founder of her business, Wise Sherpa, she has been named a top advisor for leadership and management by Enterprise Nation. She coaches and mentors female business owners and leaders including on the Deutsche Bank, NatWest and NEF accelerators.

Tuesday’s event is one of three Enterprise Tuesday sessions that focus on female founders who will recount and share insight on their inspiration, motivation and realisation on their journey.

Registration is 18:25-18:30; the panel talk: 18:30-20:00 and virtual networking: 20:00-20:30.

Ticket booking is essential for the February series and registration closes 24 hours prior to each Zoom event. 

Have a question? Email the team at enterprisetuesday [at] jbs.cam.ac.uk.

To register for Tuesday’s session visit https://www.jbs.cam.ac.uk/insight/events/enterprise-tuesday-9feb2021/

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