Women in Wakefield are being invited to get together to support each other set up and run businesses with a special event at the Hepworth.

The Secret to Empowerment event on October 21 is aimed at women thinking of starting a business or those who run one that is under three years old. It is being delivered by AD:VENTURE, a business support programme for new businesses in North and West Yorkshire, in collaboration with Wakefield First and Wakefield Council.

The event will feature experts on topics ranging from finance and accounting to networking and personal branding. There will be opportunities to meet other female entrepreneurs over breakfast and a buffet lunch.

The keynote speaker will be the curator of a brand new exhibition of works by British photographer Hannah Starkey, whose choreographed photographs are designed to capture women’s everyday experiences. There will also be free entry to the exhibition.

Government-backed research in 2018 showed that women faced many barriers to starting a business, and only one in five businesses was run by a woman. The number of companies set up each year by women has increased since then from around 56,000 to more than 145,000 in 2021.

Cllr Denise Jeffery, leader of Wakefield Council, said: “We recognise that for anyone starting a new business it is an exciting time, but there can be a number of challenges to overcome.

“This event will bring women in business together, with advice and inspiration from the panel of experts whilst also providing an opportunity for networking and collaboration for those attending.”

The Secret to Empowerment event is free and will run from 9.30am to 1pm on Friday October 21 at the Hepworth Wakefield. Although the event is in Wakefield, it is open to eligible businesses from across the Leeds City Region.

AD:VENTURE is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). As well as the ERDF and Wakefield Council, AD:VENTURE’s funding and delivery partners include the region’s eight other local authorities, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds Trinity University, the Business Enterprise Fund, and West and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce.

To book on the event go to https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-secret-to-empowerment-women-in-business-event-at-wakefield-tickets-407418338217