Women’s Business Networks and Resources


Starting your own business can be daunting, but as our Business Development Manager Lynne Holmes explained in her Q&A last week, there’s a wealth of support out there. Here we take a look at just a few of the resources available to female entrepreneurs in the Northwest, and nationally…

  • Pink Link Ladies Network

Pink Link Ladies works with women in business. The aim of the company is for us to connect women. Many women work alone at home initially which can be very isolating so the group enables them to meet like-minded ladies and feel they have other people to talk to who understand the challenges that business owners have. By connecting ladies in business it also enables them to source valuable services and gain from experiences shared. This network has a positive effect on growth which is crucial as only 20% of businesses in the UK are owned by women and if this sector was encouraged to grow it would have a significant effect on our economy. Coral Horn – Pink Link Ladies Network Find more info on Pink Link here.
  • NatWest – Women in Business

Research by Natwest has shown that female entrepreneurs contributed £3.51bn to the UK economy in 2015 alone! Natwest offer specialist support for women looking to launch their own businesses, including advice, case studies and podcasts. For more info, visit their site
  • Unique Ladies Network

After over 30 years working in a corporate environment I decided to create a much needed women only network. After years of mixed networking I also wanted to bring the best of networking practises to the group.  So Unique Ladies networking was founded in March 2015 and has gone from strength to strength. Our ethos is to be welcoming, kind, and get to know the women in the (now 4) groups, the business comes organically after that.  The model is a free membership, pay as you go model. So we don’t get bogged down with extortionate membership fees or ladies having to pay for something each month that they don’t use. At each event we offer a supportive platform for women to share their amazing stories (our inspirational lady speaker slot) we also have a 10 minutes business/educational slot which is open to any women wanting to share something of interest. We are not about being negative to men in business, instead we embrace the differences! After almost three years of growth, I decided late last year, to take it to a franchise model, enabling other women to have a part time income which runs alongside their existing income stream.  In January of this year the first two franchisees came on board, running Preston and Manchester, with others to follow in September to launch in Stockport and Bury. Unique Ladies are intending to conquer the world one network at a time! Suzy Orr– Unique Ladies Network For more information about opportunities to speak, franchise or simply coming along to an event, please email Suzy@uniqueladiesnetwork.co.uk For more info, visit the Unique Ladies website
  • Hardman McNeal

Jenny Hardman & Cate McNeal are two local mums helping other women by providing a safe and nurturing environment for those who have anxieties surrounding business networking and becoming visible with their own businesses. Working with women to build on their self-confidence & self-beliefs to become more successful in the business world. “One woman came to us and Lancashire Business Owners nearly two years ago – she had such severe anxiety she could not enter the room with the other ladies. Working with her over time has given her the tools she needs to succeed, delivering a presentation to 70 people in November and overcoming her fears.” Jenny Hardman – Hardman McNeal Hardman McNeal
  • EWIF – Encouraging Women into Franchising

Encouraging Women into Franchising’s primary focus is to support women who are looking for a route into the franchise industry. Our remit is threefold; to encourage women to consider buying a franchise, to encourage business women to franchise their existing operations and to help franchisors attract more women to their networks. We are a not-for-profit organisation run entirely by volunteers and we partner with other professionals in the franchise industry in order to offer the best guidance and support possible. We hold regional meetings around the UK on a regular basis and host a national conference to allow franchisors and prospective franchisees and franchisees to meet, network, discuss best practice and hear from a range of industry experts. We also hold an annual awards ceremony, sponsored by NatWest, to recognise the achievements of women in franchising and to boost their position and give them more credibility in their industry. “I find EWIF meetings so helpful and enjoyable. Franchising is a great way to work for yourself and so the more I can do to help other women follow this path, the better.” Sally Findlay, Recognition Express Mid Surrey Franchisee. To find out more about EWIF, visit www.ewif.org or email info@ewif.org

At Danbro, we’re committed to supporting small businesses, working with them to help them grow.

We take away the stress of running your own business, and offer specialist advice for start-ups. If you’d like to go limited, we can incorporate your business within 24 hours, set you up with the relevant insurances, and help you open your business bank account. We’ll also do a review of your business and make sure you’re operating in the most tax-efficient way. “As part of the Danbro Family, we’ll take the time to fully understand your business needs, so we can grow your business together.” – Lynne Holmes

For friendly, expert advice, call us on 01253 600150 or email us at hello@danbro.co.uk.

Blog written by
Sam Wright
Marketing Manager at

Sam Wright is Danbro’s Marketing Manager. He produces regular content and feature articles on our digital and non-digital channels – and social platforms – for the Danbro Group and its subsidiaries, as well as having responsibility for the Company’s internal and external communications.

His background is in Journalism and Creative Writing, having previously contributed to publications such as The Daily Post, The Lancashire Evening Post, and The Blackpool Gazette.

He is a keen swimmer and avid Manchester United fan (but don’t hold that against him), and he lives in Lancashire with his wife, Sarah.

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