NatWest Cymru and University of South Wales have teamed up to launch a new podcast aimed at encouraging women to start and grow their businesses.
Inspiring Women Wales features the stories of female founders of SMEs around Wales. Presented by Gemma Casey, NatWest Cymru’s Ecosystem Manager for Wales, the podcast series is designed to address some of the barriers women commonly face in business.
The Rose Review of Female Entrepreneurship, written by NatWest CEO Alison Rose in 2019, found that if women in the UK matched men in starting and scaling businesses, £250 billion could be added to the economy.
The review highlighted five key barriers that lead to lower rates of entrepreneurship amongst women, including a lack of relatable role models.
And the Covid-19 pandemic has also had a significant impact. Research conducted for the Rose Review Progress Report 2022 suggests that, despite a rapid growth in female led start-ups, female entrepreneurs have spent twice as long on caring responsibilities during the pandemic as their male counterparts, and that their businesses have been less likely to recover.
Gemma said: “Despite all the challenges the pandemic has presented we are making progress. Last year, nearly 4,500 all-female-founded firms were created in Wales – and more than 140,000 across the UK as a whole.
“But we also know that women are still met with more hurdles when starting and scaling businesses. Consistently women tell us that one of the things they struggle with most is feeling that they just don’t see women who look like them, whose lives are like their lives, starting and succeeding in business.
“In this podcast I chat to brilliant female founders from different backgrounds, running businesses in a variety of sectors. All talk candidly about their entrepreneurial journey – the highs and lows, the challenges and highlights.”
Inspiring Women Wales is a follow-on from The Developing Entrepreneurial Women Programme, a fully-funded series of masterclasses and events delivered by USW in partnership with NatWest Cymru. The programme supported women ready to embark on their business start-up journey.
Chris Wright, USW Exchange Manager, said: “At the University of South Wales our vision is clear – we want to change lives and our community for the better. Over the past few years our world has changed at an intense pace, and through the Rose Review we can understand the significant impact this has had on female-led start-ups.
“We are always looking for new ways we can harness expertise from across the University to address global challenges, and we’re thrilled to team up with NatWest to showcase inspiring female founders to help bring greater gender diversity to the business sector in Wales.”
Inspiring Women Wales is produced by Cardiff-based podcast and video production company Carnival Content.
The podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and SoundCloud.
More information on the podcast series, and on individual episodes, is available on the Inspiring Women Wales page of the USW website.
Series one features:
- Helen Corsi Cadmore, coach and business growth specialist.
- Cherie Arlett, founder and fashion director of online brand SheCan Closet.
- Mandy Powell, founder and CEO of The Goodwash Company.
- Claire Copeman, co-founder of Adventure Tours UK.
- Kath Chadwick, founder and co-director of Front Door Communications.
- Adele Pember, founder of Dog Furiendly.
Series two will be released later this year.