Press Release Inspirational Speakers Announced

Inspirational Speakers Announced for Pink Link International Women’s Day Conference

Two award-winning inspirational keynote speakers have been announced for Pink Link’s International Women’s Day conference on Wednesday 8 March at Preston North End FC.

Police whistle blower, Maggie Oliver, exposed the Rochdale child sex abuse ring case and the lack of action taken to bring the culprits to task. Today her charity, The Maggie Oliver Foundation campaigns to help survivors of abuse transform their pain into power as she continues to fight for justice for victims across the UK. She will be joined by the queen of haulage, Sandra Cottam-Shea of SCS Logistics. Working with over 130 hauliers across the UK and Europe, her ‘can do’ attitude has been the driving force behind a multi-million-pound business which keeps goods – and the economy moving.

Entrepreneurs from across the region are invited to take part in the event to celebrate gender equality. Backed by the United Nations, this year’s IWD theme, #EmbraceEquity, is a collective call to action for a fair and equal world for women where these beliefs are implemented in both community and business.

Sponsored by the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund delivered by the British Business Bank, the day is packed with exhibitors, networking and guest speakers to help support, empower and promote female entrepreneurship. The event includes a delicious 3 course lunch by Heathcotes and masterclasses specifically chosen to help women to build strong, resilient and innovative businesses.

Women looking to scale up their business will gain valuable insight into the funding and resources available, practical solutions they can implement straight away and discover how to protect their intellectual property. Crammed with opportunities to make new connections and build authentic relationships, meet potential new customers and suppliers, expand brand awareness and generate leads, it’s a day of growth for women and their business.

Theodora Newman, Policy and Strategy Manager at the British Business Bank, said: “Greater support to female entrepreneurs and unlocking their untapped potential is a priority for the financial services industry and for the wider UK economy.  When we invest in and support female-led businesses, we not only level the playing field and create a more equitable society, but we also reap the economic benefits of tapping into a wider pool of talent and ideas.

“The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund’s equity fund managers are signatories of the UK Government’s Investing in Women Code, a drive to improve female entrepreneurs access to finance from the financial services sector. Whilst we’ve seen an increase in female-led businesses over the past few years, there is still a long way to go in creating a more diverse and inclusive business ecosystem.”

Coral Horn, founder of Pink Link said “International Women’s Day brings together business leaders and entrepreneurs from all sectors to share ideas, explore collaborations and be inspired! We’re inviting organisations who stand against bias, stereotypes, and discrimination, who want to work towards a world where difference is valued and celebrated to join us.”

Tickets are available online at For more information on how you can get involved contact Pink Link on 01772 348309.

About the Investing in Women Code

Launched by HM Treasury, the Investing in Women Code commits organisations to promoting female entrepreneurship by having a nominated member of the senior leadership team who will be responsible for supporting equality in access to finance. It also increases the transparency of financial services firms’ data concerning support for female entrepreneurs and encourages adoption of internal practices to improve the outlook for female entrepreneurs. The Investing in Women Code partners and signatory firms share a commitment to work in partnership to make the United Kingdom one of the most attractive countries in the world to start and grow a business by advancing female entrepreneurship.

More than seven in 10 (71%) NPIF funded businesses had at least one woman in their senior management team according to data from the mid-term evaluation of the Fund. Of these, around three in seven had women accounting for at least half of the senior management team.

The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.

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