Hugely Successful Women’s Business Conference Showcases the UK’s Rising Female Stars

This Wednesday saw the annual Women’s Business Conference take place at historic Pittville Pump Room in Cheltenham.

Women's Business Conference - Award Winners 2019

From back left to right: Steve Gardner-Collins, Mayor of Cheltenham, Councillor Roger Whyborn, Sheila Stamp, Jo Fairley, Nicole Bekdache, Cathy Birch, Sarah Jordan, Vicki Summersby, Laura Butcher, Sally Hodgson, Viva O’Flynn, Lucy Sherry, Angela De Souza, Sarah Morgan, Inge Dowden, Fern Neveu

Hosted by the Women’s Business Club and proudly sponsored by QuickBooks, the jam-packed event gave female entrepreneurs, executives and professionals the chance to network, learn and develop through a series of talks and workshops.

The conference, which took place on Wednesday 4th of December, welcomed just under 300 delegates from across the country whom all valued the opportunity to learn and celebrate each other.

For the event’s 7th anniversary, the day started with a networking session before launching into insightful workshops. Each informative session focused on maximising possibilities, helping delegates to take away practical skills along with an insight into how to reach their true potential.

The first to share critical insight was Phillipa Haynes who gave a focused workshop on how business owners can own their unique space in business. Her session was followed by Rosemary Cunningham, who helped delegates maximise their finance through her guide on women and wealth.

The next set of educational workshops featured Bev Hepting who guided guests on maximising their brand. Simone Vincenzi followed with a visionary session on how entrepreneurs can increase authority within their sector.

Leon Street then stepped up with his guidance on how business owners can gain more leads and more clients to maximise their sales. Richael O’Brien then finished the morning’s workshops with a QuickBooks software training session for small business owners.

Angela De Souza, organiser of the conference, commented: “Each of these sessions was incredibly useful for all of our delegates. The conference aims to support fellow business owners in advancing their potential, and the topics covered some of the key issues many modern entrepreneurs face.”

The morning’s workshops were followed with a fashion show, featuring collections from sustainable coat maker, Jackie Maguire, ethical luxury clothing designer, NoLoGo Chic, Gorgeous Dresses and the local Jackeroo Boutique.

In the afternoon, the event welcomed Jo Fairley, Co-Founder of Green & Black’s Chocolate, along with a keynote talk from Women’s Business Club founder and conference organiser, Angela De Souza.

Angela said: “We were honoured to welcome one of the UK’s leading female entrepreneurs. It was fantastic to hear all about Jo Fairley’s business expertise and gain a real insight into her business acumen.”

“I was also thrilled to be able to deliver the keynote speech this year. I’m a huge believer that what you think, you become so I developed a brand-new talk to help others gain their ‘Millionaire Mindset’, discussing how business owners can change their way of thinking.”

Entrepreneurs also got the chance to pitch their business ideas to the Dragoness’ Den. A panel of highly experienced businesswomen welcomed plans from a range of sectors and provided advice for those pitching.

The winning pitch was The Mummy Maintenance Project by Gemma Dobson. She received a fantastic prize package to help them launch, including a Sandler sales mastery course and a luxury brand photoshoot from Joanne Moorhouse.

The Women’s Business Club Awards closed the day. With categories open across multiple sectors and the ultimate Business Woman of the Year title up for grabs, there were plenty of winners. Laura Butcher took the top title, celebrated for her passion for wellness at Soul Sanctuary.


Other winners included:

Businesswoman of the Year Winner: Laura Butcher
Runner-up: Saskia Volders
Business Mum of the Year Winner:  Cathy Birch
Runner-up: Clare Clifford
Franchise of the Year Winner:  Travel Cousellors
Runner-up: Sleepy Lambs
Best New Business Winner: Susan Kabani
Runner-up: Ruth Bayliss
Speaker Award Winner:  Inge Dowden
Runner-up: Sheila Pryce Brooks
Creative Business Award Winner:  Viva O’Flynn
Candice Westgate & Natasha Willmore
Woman in Finance Award Winner: Vicki Summersby
Runner-up: Lezanne O’Donoghue
Woman in Law Award Winner: Lucy Sherry
Runner-up: Laura Stone
Woman in STEM Winner: Sally Hodgson
Runner-up: Julie Plumb
Woman in Property & Construction Winner: Nicole Bekdache
Runner-up: Zoe Hewett
Woman in HR & Recruitment Winner: Fern Neveu
Runner-up: Juliet Morris and Sian Prigg
Woman in Sales & Retail Winner: Sarah Jordan
Runner-up:  Aleksandra Wells & Jade Lisseman
Leader of the Year Winner: Sarah Morgan
Runner-up: Debra Wootton
Man of the Year Winner: Steve Gardner-Collins
Runner-up: James Tribe


Angela reflected: “The award ceremony has really highlighted some of business’s best entrepreneurs, and I’m honoured to have been part of such a rewarding day of networking, learning and development.”

“Overall, 2019’s conference has been a huge success. Many fantastic connections have been made, ideas have been shared, and partnerships are now in the making. Plans are well underway for 2020, with our conference expanding to four new locations; Manchester, Norwich, Birmingham and Guildord so we can include more women from across the country.”


For more information on the Women’s Business Conference, please visit: www.womensbusiness.club/conference and for more information on the Women’s Business Club, please visit: www.womensbusiness.club

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