Team Entrepreneurship students host “Celebrating Female Entrepreneurs” event as part of International Women’s Day

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As part of International Women’s day 2017, the Female Entrepreneurs Team from the BA (Hons) Team Entrepreneurship programme, chose to host an event that celebrating female entrepreneurs.

Inspired by the theme for International Women’s Day 2017, Be Bold for Change, the students wanted to host an event that that celebrated women’s achievements as well as inspiring other women to become entrepreneurs, leaders and change makers.

The event showcased 8 different female entrepreneurs at various stages of their journeys and the barriers they have overcome. The entrepreneurs were introduced by Deputy Vice Chancellor, Jane Harrington.

The speakers included Katie Alcott, Founder and CEO of Frank Water; Neha Chaudry, Founder of Walk to Beat and Helena Hills, Co-Founder and CEO of True Start Coffee. A full list of all the speakers can be found below with their top tips for other budding entrepreneurs.


The event was held at UWE Bristol’s Future Space and was attended by over 80 people. The event was organised by Alice Lumley, Danielle Seprersaude, Jade Marsella from the Team Entrepreneurship degree and their team coach Ainhoa Esnaloa.

Helena Hills – Co-Founder and CEO of True Start Coffee

“If it’s impossible and you can make it happen. It’s a game changer.”

The multi award-winning TrueStart Performance Coffee is the only coffee in the world designed for sports performance. Helena and her husband Simon came up with the idea during IronMan triathlon training, and officially launched last year to phenomenal public response. A Bristol-based start-up, TrueStart have built and army of incredibly loyal customers.

Marion Gillet – Programme Lead & Product Development Manager for Design Council Spark

Don’t hire on experience, look at diversity and values.”

Marion is a design entrepreneur who runs the UK’s first ever design-led start up accelerator. In this role she draws from her own experience as an entrepreneur herself to provide a supportive experience for start-up founders. Marion studied product and industrial design in Paris and London and she has over 10 years’ experience in setting up unprecedented collaborations between international brands (Longchamp, Clairefontaine) and small design companies (The Heatherwick Studio, Charlene Mullen).

Amy Kington –  CEO of Community of Purpose

Different people show their strengths in different ways.”

Community of Purpose exists to empower people and their communities to overcome big challenges. Community of Purpose uses a range of programmes to increase sports participation, raise educational attainment, reduce health inequalities and support socially excluded groups access services so they can realise their potential.

Tess O’Shea – Founder of Euony Vintage/ Seatox

Choose something close to your heart….and go out and network.”

Tess O’Shea is at the start-up stage in her journey and is a graduate from UWE, who started the enterprise internship last summer with a passion for pre-loved clothing. She was unhappy with the mass production of fast fashion and the vast CO2 emissions of the clothing industry. She started selling on Depop and then progressed into the pop-up shop space at UWE. She is currently embarking on a new venture, Seatox, which is an edible and cosmetic seaweed business.

Neha Chaudry – Founder of Walk to Beat

You have this fragile idea that you want to make real, you have to belief in yourself and be really confident about it before you go out and get other people convinced about it.”

Neha is a UWE alumni and  founder of the start-up called Walk to Beat, partly based at the Bristol Robotics Lab. The first product developed by Walk to Beat is a walking stick designed for Parkinson’s patients to help them improve their walking problems. Walk to Beat is further set to design stream of assisted living products to empower the ageing population. Recently she has been awarded UWE 2017 Social Entrepreneur of the year award.

Katie Alcott – Founder and CEO of Frank Water

If you’ve got a product, [going to festivals and telling people what your doing] it’s the best way of getting feedback and making sure you’re doing the right thing and that you’ve got the right messaging.”

In 2005 Katie came up with the concept of FRANK Water through which she could raise awareness of world water issues – saving lives by supporting safe water and sanitation programmes and being pragmatic by initially raising funds through the sale of bottled water in the UK. FRANK Water Projects, which has funded over 300 sustainable, community-run safe water and sanitation programmes across rural India. Dedicated to supporting those most in need; the marginalised, tribal and hard to reach communities, research and development of technology and approach are key to the organisations future.

Liz Davidson – Co-founder of Esoterix Systems

“Communication is everything; learning to communicate and understanding where communications breaks down is one of the most important lessons I’ve learned.”

Esoterix Systems is running the Mobility on Demand Laboratory Environment (MODLE), an Innovate UK sponsored project, in North and West Bristol. The project is exploring new services, mode integration and business models to offer flexible transport options which meet users’ complex transport needs.

Lorryne Heyns – Founder of The Little Lollipop Shop

My biggest learning point is letting go; that your business isn’t always based in your hands, you can get it to a certain point but then you have to get other people involved.”

Lorynne is a UWE alumni and Founder of The Little Lollipop Sho. She crafts beautifully styled lollipop favours with stunning details such as lace, sparkling glitter and fresh edible flowers for weddings, birthdays and magazine editorials. All of her food products are made with the highest quality ingredients and are all natural where possible. Lorryne corporate clients include Channel, Estee Lauder, Loreal

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