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The Festival of Female Entrepreneurs Returns for 2014



Business minister adds support to FFE14

The Festival of Female Entrepreneurs Returns for 2014

Women Outside the Box (WOTB), the business platform for women, has ogranising FFE14, The Festival of Female Entrepreneurs 2014, which will take place at Colston Hall in Bristol, on 20th October 2014.

The largest of its kind in the UK, with an average of 1,000 attendees, and now in its third year, the festival is aimed at women who own an SME, those thinking about setting up on their own, female freelancers and students.

Free to attend, FFE14 will offer a huge 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, including;

• Areas dedicated to tech, retail, B2B and marketing – with exhibitors from throughout the South West

• Over 60 exhibition stands from companies working with SMEs

• Inspirational speakers sharing their successes, their setbacks and insider tips on building your business, including Fiona Stewart, owner of Green Man Festival and Zoe Cunningham, MD of Softwire Technology, one of 100 most influential people in Tech City and the BBC’s Brightest Woman in Britain

• Interactive sessions including speed networking on themes of confidence, how to stay focused and improving your networking skills

• A How-To Village, where experts will give one-on-one advice

• A café to socialise and network

• The winners of the WOTB Upstart Women Competition (which ran earlier this year, and offers one woman a place on the prestigious WebStart Bristol incubator programme) and Women with Bright Ideas Competition (run by Innovation in Engineering SW, to find the best female engineering start-up idea)

• There is also a competition for start-ups and SMEs to win a wide range of prizes supplied by our sponsors – go to for full details.

Jo Swinson, Minister for Employment Relations and Consumer Affairs in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and Women and Equalities Minister, commented: “More and more women are turning their business ideas into reality and are successful in doing so, which is why events like the FFE are so popular. The government is working to make this country the best place to start and grow a business, but ultimately our economy’s success relies on the efforts of our entrepreneurs, and women like Fiona Stewart are an inspiration to us all.”

Joni Farthing founded WOTB in 2012. It 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.

Here Joni answers a short Q and A on FFE14;

Tell us what to expect Joni? 

“FFE14 gives women a place to talk business, a place where they can think big. I want to help women start large, profitable companies, and the festival can absolutely help them to do that. The speakers and exhibitors at FFE14 will offer inspiration and support to build women’s confidence and skillsets so that they can thrive financially.”

Who should attend? 

“A wide range of women, from those freelancing, to running a life-style business, to growing an SME, as well as women considering starting up on their own, and students looking to make connections and develop ideas.”

Why do women need a festival of their own? 

“We believe that women have special characteristics that are not currently well-served by entrepreneurial websites and networks. For example women with a family are time-poor. So it is essential that WOTB offers online networking and business help that mothers can access anywhere, anytime, on their phone or tablet, whether that is when the children are in bed or at football practice. Some home-based women feel isolated, so networking at events like FFE14 is invaluable to them.

Whilst young educated women may be more confident than in the past, we believe many still lack the confidence and connections to put together start-up teams and seek funding, and so may get trapped in under-paid freelancing. Our inspirational role-models and business resources are designed to make women think bigger.”

Why is the festival being held in Bristol?

 “WOTB is particularly passionate about the tech and media industries, and bringing tech into women’s lives, which is why we ran our Upstart Women competition earlier in the year, to help find and fund the next big tech female start-up. Bristol, or Silicon Gorge as it is coming to be known, is the biggest growth region for tech businesses in the UK, and is the largest tech hub outside of London. So it makes total sense for us to hold the festival here.”

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