Women Outside the Box (WOTB), the business platform for women, held FFE14, The Festival of Female Entrepreneurs 2014, at Colston Hall in Bristol. WOTB is the go-to community for women in business, with an online platform supported by offline clubs and events. These include regional City Business Clubs, and WOTB Online, a forum and networking hub.
The festival is aimed at women who own an SME, those thinking about setting up on their own, female freelancers and students. The largest of its kind in the UK, the women who came to the event made the most of the inspirational speakers, advice workshops and exhibition areas.
Free to attend, the event offered a wide variety of content and activity on the day, allowing attendees to network, hear success stories, and ask advice about how to start or grow their business.
Keynote speaker was Fiona Stewart, owner of the Green Man Festival, with MD of Softwire Technology Zoe Cunningham heading up a panel dedicated to women and tech.
The winners of three very different competitions (tech, engineering and start-up ) were announced on the day;
- The Women Outside The Box Upstart Women Competition (which ran earlier this year) offered a place on the prestigious WebStart Bristol incubator programme for the best digital start-up – this was won by Jessica Turley and Emily Pettiford, from Bespoke Bride.
- The Women with Bright Ideas Competition, run by Innovation in Engineering SW, to find the best female engineering start-up idea. There were two winners, as the entrants were so strong. Chloe Meineck for her Musical Memory Box, which invites dementia sufferers to interact with familiar sounds that stir lost memories, and Catherine Dodd and Rosie Phelps for their ‘doddl’ toddler’s cutlery, which makes eating easier and more efficient. Functionally, it aims to develop the child’s pincer grip, improve dexterity, support independent feeding and aid the transition to using normal adult cutlery.
- And the I Bring competition – which included a wide range of prizes aimed at giving the winner a large helping hand in growing their business, and which was held in conjunction with our Festival sponsors Freeagent, BrunelOne, Dunkleys and Somerset Design. The prizes were won by Sarah Parkins for her business Sniffy Wiffy, which makes beauty products that also prepare skin for a breast examination.