Sarah Watmore, founder of Miss Milly, which supplies costume jewellery and fashion accessories to gift shops, garden centres, clothing boutiques and visitor attractions throughout the UK, attended a special International Women’s Day reception at the House of Lords on Monday (March 7), which recognised her strong contribution to entrepreneurship.

The event spotlighted more than 100 impressive, multi-achieving female business owners being championed by Small Business Britain’s ƒ:Entrepreneur #ialso100 campaign, which showcases the phenomenal contribution to society, economy and communities that many female founders are making across the country.

Sarah was named an ƒ:Entrepreneur #ialso100 in 2021, in recognition of her inspiring entrepreneurial journey, which has involved her running a business alongside a roster of other responsibilities. Sarah is now rebuilding the business post-pandemic and it’s looking stronger than ever after a successful spring collection launch. Her #ialso is that she is training for a cycling qualification race for her third Great Britain amateur world championships road racing appearance, and captains a virtual women’s cycling team.

Sarah enjoyed networking in Westminster, meeting peers from Æ’:Entrepreneur and #ialso cohorts from 2021 and 2022, as well as special guest speaker Labour MP Dr Rosena Allin-Khan, who paid tribute to the power of female entrepreneurship.

Christmas World 2023

“Getting to meet so many inspirational women who have set up all kinds of businesses throughout the UK was an absolute joy and such fun after two really tough years. And Dr Rosena’s speech was very motivational and humorous.”

Sarah Watmore, founder of Miss Milly

Sarah said: “Getting to meet so many inspirational women who have set up all kinds of businesses throughout the UK was an absolute joy and such fun after two really tough years. And Dr Rosena’s speech was very motivational and humorous.”

Delivered by Small Business Britain, which champions small businesses in the UK, the f:Entrepreneur campaign was launched in 2017 to highlight the stories of amazing female business owners and help provide inspiration and role models across the wider small business community. Now in its fifth year, the campaign offers a host of events, training, and networking opportunities to boost skills, capability, and confidence.

This comes on the back of new research carried out by the campaign this month which found that following the pandemic, nearly a fifth (17%) of women are considering entrepreneurship, with 44% of them citing pursuing a passion as a key motivator, alongside 46% wanting greater flexibility.

“Being in room full of such impressive female founders such as Sarah was really uplifting, especially after a tough couple of years for entrepreneurs”

Michelle Ovens CBE, founder of Small Business Britain and the Æ’:Entrepreneur campaign

Michelle Ovens CBE, founder of Small Business Britain and the Æ’:Entrepreneur campaign, said: “Being in room full of such impressive female founders such as Sarah was really uplifting, especially after a tough couple of years for entrepreneurs. To hear all the incredible things that these women do and the impact they are making – not just in their businesses but in their wider communities – is truly inspiring, and underlines that we must do everything we can to support them. This profound desire among women to create opportunity out of their passions, to build businesses with mission and purpose at their hearts, and to drive forward success – despite everything thrown at them during this pandemic – is amazingly powerful. We must nurture female entrepreneurship, so it continues to flourish in the UK and plays a key role in recovery.”  

To see the full line-up of the 100 women featured in this year’s f:entrepreneur #ialso100 campaign visit f-entrepreneur.com/ialso-100-2022/

For last year’s list visit f-entrepreneur.com/ialso-100-2021/

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