Successful event marks International Women’s Day in the Marches

March 9, 2021

A special International Women’s Day event to mark the role of women in business across the Marches was a huge success, organisers have said.

The Marches Growth Hub, businesswoman Hollie Whittles and the Federation of Small Businesses teamed up to organise the high-profile online event yesterday.

A host of keynote speakers gave inspiring talks about their experiences as women in business, with nearly 60 people signing in to view the event.
Marches Growth Hub Shropshire manager Emma Chapman said she was delighted with the success of the event – the third the hub had run and the first time it had been extended to cover the whole of Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin.

“We had a range of really high-quality speakers who were both inspiring and honest about the challenges facing women from all walks of life in the business world today. It was an empowering and really wonderful day.”
Hollie, FSB Regional Chair for the West Midlands and tech director for Telford-based Purple Frog Systems, spoke at the event as well as helping to organise it.

“We were thrilled that so many people attended the event and that the profile of International Women’s Day across the region gets stronger each year.

“The personal stories we heard from some fabulous role models who have set up and run their own businesses, or who have risen to the top of their professions, show just what has been achieved so far but also how much more needs to be done and the challenges women still face.

“Even though we were unable to meet face to face this year, the event created a real buzz amongst those present and provided some excellent networking opportunities into the bargain.”

Speakers included Trudie Adcock, global enterprise learning director for pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, broadcaster, presenter and TEDx speaker Merisha Stevenson, the CEO and founder of the KogoPAY Group Dr Narisa Chauvidul-Aw, Marches Local Enterprise Partnership chair Mandy Thorn and chief executive Gill Hamer and Tracy Darke, assistant director economy and place at Shropshire Council.

International social media and marketing speaker Teresa Heath-Wareing, the founder of Digital Women and SocialDay UK Lucy Hall and the FSB’s deputy head of English regions Linsey Luke completed the impressive line-up.

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The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership has now ceased trading and transferred all its functions to Shropshire Council working with Telford & Wrekin Council and Herefordshire Council, in line with the UK Government's plans for devolution.

The Marches LEP was established in 2011 and hands over an impressive legacy from its 13-year life. In that time the LEP invested over £196m in projects across the Marches, securing in excess of £100m of match funding and supported more than 66,000 business interactions.

The schemes supported have made tangible differences to local communities, increasing skills, creating jobs and improving the physical appearance of many towns.

We would like to thank all the LEP Board Members who have given their time freely over the life of the LEP, as well as all the staff who worked for the LEP over the years. We also want to thank our delivery partners, local education providers and local, regional and national stakeholders who helped us achieve so much.

The Marches Growth Hub will continue to support businesses and will be managed by Shropshire Council, supported by Telford and Wrekin and Herefordshire Councils. Each of the three Local Authorities will also continue to provide direct business support locally. Details of this support will be available through the Marches Growth Hub website and from the Local Authorities directly. Website: | email:

The Marches Careers Hub will continue to be delivered and will be managed by Shropshire Council, supported by Telford & Wrekin and Herefordshire Councils. Website: | email:

For any queries about Getting Building Fund (GBF), Local Growth Fund (LGF) and Marches Investment Fund (MIF) projects supported by the Marches LEP please contact:

For any finance queries please contact:

The solvent liquidation of the Marches LEP is being managed by the Evelyn Partners Limited. For any matter related to this please contact:

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