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Luton Women’s Enterprise Day took place on Monday 30th January 2017. Supported by University of Bedfordshire, Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce, Job Centre Plus and Luton Borough Council, it was another resounding success.

Cross section of guests at the event


This celebration of the women’s achievement in the business world was chaired by Annette White, Chief Executive of PC HelpCentre and also a Marsh Farm Futures Board Director. The event was opened by Marsh Farm Futures Chief Executive, Mohammed Rafi, and featured key speakers including Cheryl Smart from the Beds Chamber of Commerce, who spoke about being determined and forging ahead in the predominantly male oriented business world, Laura Church, LBC Corporate Director for Space and Infrastructure, gave an inspiring talk about her career and her drive to see more women in engineering & construction. She also answered a number of questions from the public. The final speaker, Debra Leighton, Head of Business School and Executive Dean of University of Bedfordshire, spoke about her aim to increase and forge links with undergraduates and local businesses.

Cheryl Smart MBE , Beds Chamber of Commerce

Laura Church, LBC Corporate Director, Space and Infrastructure,  with other guest speakers

LBC Corporate Director, Space and InfrastructureAttendees were able to network with a variety of women from businesses including SimpleTax UK Ltd, KeepMoat, NatWest, Neal’s Yard Remedies, Amway, A Plan Insurance, The Bohemian story and Phoenix Trading to name a few.  

Mohammed Rafi, CEO Marsh Farm Futures 

KeepMoat staff with one of their successful business start ups

Guest speaker, Debra Leighton, Head of Business School and Executive Dean, University of Bedfordshire

with attendees  

The free event and well attended workshops, covered business funding, Insurance, best use of business ideas and social media and were run by Shahida Parkar from WENTA, Martin Blower from A-Plan Insurance and Richard Cooper, ASA Business Consulting.

One of the younger guests at the event

The Enterprise Day is an annual partnership event organised by Ishaq Kazi, Programme Manager for Marsh Farm Futures who said: “The hard work that colleagues from Futures Business Voice, partners and I put in to ensure this was a successful event was worth it. Speaking to participants and visitors, the overall feedback was very positive, optimistic and encouraging. The event has given a sense of purpose to persevere in their business ventures and work towards overcoming any difficulties. This is exactly what we set out to achieve. My sincere thanks to all the speakers who took the time to come and share their experiences and knowledge. ”

Annette White, Chair of the event said: “A resounding success for women in our local community who were looking for business advice, support & resources from MFF and our partners! I've had several women thank us for inspiring & motivating them to start a new business or develop their existing business after attending the event,  which to me, is what it is all about. “