An invitation from the PM
It’s not very often an email lands in your inbox from the Downing Street Office inviting you to come and meet the Prime Minister; certainly an opportunity that could not be missed!
As female founders, we were extremely privileged and honoured to be invited by Theresa May to Downing Street in celebration of International Women’s Day.
Laura and Diana, Downing Street
Inside 10 Downing Street
The Prime Minister hosted a reception for approximately 100 female founders who are doing great things in their industries, from beauty and tech to environmental impact. It was a truly memorable experience in such a historical building. It was such a pleasure meeting and chatting to all the different distinguished women invited. We know what you're thinking... Of course, we couldn't help but check out the interiors too!
We’re pleased to report the style was very fitting and in keeping with the building. It was certainly grand, but definitely had a warm and inviting feel, with some amazing photographs and paintings proudly on show. The experience of walking up the staircase with each previous Prime Minster staring right back at you on each step was incredible. It was an impressive gallery wall to say the least. Sorry, no photos were allowed inside - the scene on Love Actually with Hugh Grant dancing will have to aid your imagination for the time being!
Supporting and mentoring females to go on to achieve great things, and be the best they possibly can be is a topic very close to our hearts, a theme the Prime Minister also firmly believes in and is committed to. We thoroughly enjoyed talking to her about our exciting new product that we’re launching later this year which allows designers to set-up, run and grow their own businesses.
Knowing how hard it is to get set up as a business owner fuels our motivation, determination and drive. In particular, the lack of support and resources, as well as access to capital to be able to grow and scale your business. We had the privilege of meeting Alison Rose, Chief Executive at RBS, who also attended the IWD event at 10 Downing Street. She was commissioned by the government to produce a review on female entrepreneurship in the UK - you can read the full Rose Review here.
Laura & Diana outside Number 10
Why should there be so many challenges to conquer, hurdles to overcome and glass-ceilings to smash to become a female entrepreneur? We’re extremely supportive of Alison’s eight recommendations to accelerate change, in particular, greater transparency for institutions to look at and report their investments by gender, as well as new banking products aimed at entrepreneurs with childcare responsibilities.
Women make up half the population, the gender pay gap is now at a record low (yes, there’s still room for improvement) and now it's time to help more women set up and run businesses. After all, the stats show that they end up being more successful than male-led ones!
Making entrepreneurship more accessible for females and increasing access to support could represent a whopping £250 billion opportunity for the UK economy and we’re excited to be part of making that happen.