Women’s Ambassadors Sept 09

DSCF5560 comp web pagesWomen’s Ambassadors held another inspiring event today at the Yew Lodge Hotel in Kegworth Leicestershire.  The events are organised by the East Midlands Development Agency (emda), as part of its regional strategic to support women in business and enterprise in the regional.

These events have proved a focal point for industrious women in the East Midlands to share knowledge, information, help and support others in business and create business opportunities together.

The events have provided the chance for business owners to present workshops or presentations where they share information, advice and best practice from their own experiences in developing their own businesses and working with other organisations.

The Women’s Ambassadors was launched in 2007 by Margaret Hodge MP Minister for Industry and Regions.

At todays event we heard from Dr Joanne Morgan, Chief Executive and inventor of the faveo bra.  Joanne shared with us the sequence of events that led up to her invention of the faveo bar: a creation that is completely different from any other bras on the market.

Joanne led us in a facilitated ideas generating session,  demonstrating in practical terms, how easy it can be to come up with an invention, a new idea to address a current problem or to improve upon something we already use.

However as Joanne also advised that coming up with an idea is only the start on what can be a long road.  According to her knowledge it can take on average 13 years to bring an invention from idea to the market place and a very small percentage of inventions make it that far.  In addition only 2 percent of inventors in the UK are women, where as in eastern countries this percentage has risen higher.

Dr Joanne Morgan leading a group discussion on inventions

Dr Joanne Morgan leading a group discussion on inventions

Joanne encouraged everyone to be creative.  She shared that the key to creating an invention can be had by identifying something you hate and thinking about how one might find different ways to change or improve it.  At the very least this thought process might bring up ideas that can be used to create an excellent business idea.All of the Ambassadors were impressed by the number of ideas that were generated in such a short period of time.  Working together was said to have been a good lubricant for creative thinking by many after the session.  We may well hear about some of these ideas in the future.

Women’s Work Charity

Our second speaker was Dionne Read CEO of Women’s Work a charity based in Derby working with women who are caught up in drugs and alcohol abuse, the sex industry and those in prison.

Dionne spoke on her experience from how she first got involved in the organisation, how difficult it is for women to get out of this type of life style; the impact on children and the consequences of making wrong choices.   She said that for many women in this environment, the choices are all bad to begin with, so there can only be bad choices made.  However Women’s Work offers opportunities for difference choices to be considered and for support and help to get people out from this environment.

Dionne also showed a short video clip that demonstrated the work of the organisation.  Through this we also heard from some of the staff and from some of the women who have been helped by the programme.  The organisation works very closely with the police to ensure the safety of its staff and to in many cases, help to identify and apprehend individuals who may be a danger to women out on the street.

Women’s Work has received funding from a number of organisations to do its work, including the Lottery and is currently looking for directos to join its board to continue it’s expanding list of successful achievements.

More information can be found at Derby Women’s Work  www.womens-work.org.uk

Sandra taking part in group discussion

Sandra taking part in group discussion

Additional speakers were:

Sally Fagan from Business Language Champions, East Midlands, who spoke about supporting young people to take up foreign languages at school and the need for foreign language speakers currently.

Vanessa Boon, Director of Energise, who shared with practical tips on how to Raise Your Profile! This session was so inspiring that we may well discuss with Vanessa putting on a half day workshop for our clients.

Finally Laura-Jane Ramby, Business Support Diversity Manager for East Midlands Development Agency closed the event by discussing how the network might move forward.

Laura-Jane shared that the funding available to run these events  has come to an end and we would be looking to see if other methods could be found to continue bringing women business owners and inspirational women together.  However the current method was no longer possible.

The East Midlands Women In Business Conference will be held on the 4 March 2010 where Ambassador will meet again. The Women of Worth 2010 Award Nominations are currently being received, with deadline fast approaching. Individuals can nominate others as well as themselves.

We will be sorry to see the end of the network events in its current form, but sincerely hope that the opportunity to meet, network, share best practice, to encouraged and to be inspired by other women is not lost.  Here at Open Mind Coaching UK we will keep you informed as soon as we find out more about how this will continue.