The iNNiTi Effect MD and senior business coach Alexandra Poole joined a group of British women entrepreneurs to Zhejiang Province, China to help create a robust and long-term foundation between women in the province and the UK. Other members of the delegation included Anna Bollinger from APPT and Heba Bevan of UtterBerry.

The delegation took part in the GBF project ‘Supporting Women in Innovation and Technology in Zhejiang’ event on Wednesday 11th December in the city of Hangzhou. The event looked to facilitate the sharing of the knowledge and practical experience of each of the women working in innovation and technology.

The British delegation were selected for their experience in the sector and Ms Poole came highly recommended due to her work with manufacturers and other businesses in integrating technology and automation with process improvement.

The event was organised by ConnectChina, Wait-Kit Ho, Consul – Bilateral and Outreach at the British Consulate General in Shanghai and Hangzhou CCPIT Forward Ladies, a Leeds-based women’s networking group. The agenda included speeches from women from both the UK and China regarding challenges they’ve faced in business, and a Q&A followed by networking and individual meetings.

Ms Poole commented “It was fascinating to meet with the women entrepreneurs in China and find that although our issues can be widely different on the surface, at the heart of it we are facing the same challenges.”

“It’s fantastic to see a thriving female tech community in Hangzhou and the wider Zhejiang Province and I am looking forward to continuing to relationships with the wonderful women I met at the event.”

Joanna Lavan, Managing Director of ConnectChina, the agency that organized the event, commented, “As a woman in business myself, it was extremely satisfying to put these women in tech together and to help strengthen the connection between women in business in China and the UK.”

Members of Leeds City Council were also in attendance as Hangzhou and Leeds look to strengthen their relationship on the basis of both cities being innovative tech hubs. Hangzhou is home to internet giant Alib Baba, whereas Leeds is the home of NHS Digital, Sky and many more. Hangzhou has recently been the focus of significant tech investment and is looking to strengthen its ties with the UK in this sector.