The dynamic UK networking and business club for rural women in business - WiRE, Women in Rural Enterprise

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Past Issues of E-Newsletter


WiRE HQ would love to hear your views and thoughts on the new style e-newsletter.  At present the directory can only be opened as a word document and we want to know whether or not you would like the directory in the same format. 

News and Opportunities

This months’ topic is the RURAL MARKETPLACE. Look out for my email in two weeks time detailing how to list your business. Use the time in between to read other members profiles and write yours so you’re ready! www.wireuk.org/directory.aspx

Just a reminder that the deadline for advertising in the Winter edition of the WiRED magazine has been extended to the 8th November 2007. At only £25 for members it’s a great opportunity to promote your business or upcoming function – contact heather@wireuk.org for details.

Country Living Spring Fair
WiRE have secured a discounted rate again at the Country Living Spring Fair www.countrylivingfair.com. There has been a radical re-shuffle this time and although WiRE are still upstairs the "pitch" will be in the much busier bazaar, just by the coffee area. The cost will be £180 per m2 with the smallest stand size being 2x1.5m2 with the booking/service charge and vat it brings the cost to about £700. This sounds like a lot but with some 30,000 visitors and an average spend of £180 - it really is a great opportunity. We have block booked about 40m2 but it will go quickly - please call Nicola on 0207 288 6071 or email nicolai@upperstreetevents.co.uk to book a place (make sure you tell them you are a WiRE member). Last year WiRE member Jan Constantine had a stand for the first year - she sold more that she had ever done previously and secured a trade deal with Liberty's - you never know where things will take you!

Wire Rural Market place


Winning WiRE Women
Huge congratulations to Annabel McMahon from Rackety's www.racketys.com who was a finalist in the HSBC Start Up Stars Awards, she did brilliantly to get through to the final stages, the competition was really tough (and good looking!) let's hope the extra PR brings lots of business. OK it is about the winning not just the taking part - but entering any awards is a really good for your business, it boosts morale and adds credibility. In the last 4 years WiRE members have been regional finalists in HSBC Start Up Stars, winners in Federation of Small Businesses Awards and winners in the Country Living Enterprising Women Awards.

Women's Enterprise Day - 14th November - Shropshire and Staffordshire
Women's Enterprise Day is being held at Patshall Park, Pattingham, WV6 7HR, with lots of inspirational speakers, a choice of two workshops, some fun speed networking and a great lunch. The keynote speaker is Rachel "Hey Ho" Flint, the well known English female cricketer. Booking is essential and there is a £10 charge for WiRE members who are not Opening Doors Beneficiaries. For more details ring Emma Blantern on 01952 815451.

Women’s Enterprise Day – 14th November - Hereford & Worcester and Warwickshire
It's Women's Enterprise Day and Hereford & Worcester and Warwickshire have joined forces with Worcester County Council to deliver a motivational and fun packed day at Worcester Race Course, WR1 3EJ. Toyah Wilcox is the first speaker and there will be workshops during the day of which you are able to choose 2. Booking is essential and there is a £10 charge for WiRE members who are not Opening Doors Beneficiaries. For more details ring Emma Blantern on 01952 815451.

WiRE Member appearing on ITV’s This Morning
WiRE member Nerys Hebdon will be appearing on the ITV programme This Morning on 20 November. She will feature as the 'entrepreneur' guest at a dinner party hosted by Charlie Walduck. This Morning
have been following Charlie's story for a few years, since he lost 30 stone in weight and ran the London marathon. He is now keen to change careers, possibly starting his own business. Nerys says that the invitation from ITV came after they saw her profile on the WiRE website - proof indeed of the value of posting your details on the website! Nerys' business offers a luxury label of bedroom interiors and accessories from its website – www.andgodcreatedwomen.co.uk.

Member Events and News

Pure Azure website launched
Offering innovative branding, design and expert editorial services to individuals and businesses, Tara and Holly teamed up in July 2007 as a partnership when they realised that their skills and experience could be combined perfectly to provide a more complete service to clients. Pure Azure offers clients whatever they need to get their communications message across in the best way possible; so whether it's a fresh logo, a new website or editorial copy with a difference that your business needs, Tara and Holly will be happy to help. Just visit www.pureazure.co.uk or call 01262 421107 to get your business on the right promotional track.

Rag Rug Workshops
WiRE member Yvonne Autie is offering WiRE members 2007 prices if they book for next years Rag Rug workshops before December 31st. Day courses are held at home in Norfolk for a maximum of 6 students. For more details email yvonne_autie@dsl.pipex.com.

Short Courses at Assington Mill
Assington Mill offers short courses on about 45 different arts and crafts subjects, from beekeeping to book restoration. The courses are from one to five days in length and take place in the centre of a small organic farm in a remote and beautiful Suffolk valley, between Sudbury and Colchester. For further details contact Anne Holden on 01787 229955, Email info@assingtonmill.com or visit the website www.assingtonmill.com

New Website is racing ahead!
Arterial Media based in Shropshire is racing ahead of the National field with the launch of its newest project, 'www.racingtoschool.co.uk', a website aimed at bringing the National Curriculum to life through a series of school visits to racecourses where lessons are taken in a new and exciting environment. The website www.racingtoschool.co.uk. received national recognition during its launch at a lunch for Racing dignitaries and Educational press at the Family Festival at Ascot Racecourse. For more details visit Arterial Media's website www.arterial-media.co.uk, or contact Rebecca on 01691 653085 or 07971 254871.

East Yorkshire Network Event
Beverley and Bridlington Network groups are holding a speed networking event and Christmas fayre on Monday 19th November. The event starts at 6pm at Bishop Burton College and costs £3. Please visit www.meet-yorkshire.co.uk for more information and to book on. Booking is essential as places have to be limited in the interests of successful networking.

Networking Event in Yorkshire
WiRE members in the York area are invited to a special networking event at Mulberry Hall in York on Wednesday 21st November at 6pm. York's most beautiful shop is showcasing its latest designer jewellery and accessories collections as well as its Christmas decorations. There'll be wine and nibbles too. RSVP by Friday 9th November please to Rachel Sweeting on rachel_sweeting@yahoo.co.uk or phone 07817 280 897 or visit the website www.mulberryhall.co.uk


Exhibitors wanted for Hereford Christmas Market
Wyevale's Garden Centre in Hereford is holding its Christmas Market on Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th November and is looking for exhibitors from the gift, food and drink sectors. Wyevale’s is normally heaving at Christmas and this would be a marvellous opportunity for exhibitors to sell their products/gifts. If you are interested in being an exhibitor please log on to www.countryfudge.com. and fill out the application form or contact Gail Calthrop on 01981 570644.

Congratulations to WiRE Member Jane Stretton
WiRE member Jane Stretton has been awarded the gold award for the best tourism website in the East Midlands Tourism Awards. GMTV presenter Andrew Castle presented Gold awards to a total of 16 businesses from across the region. Jane runs Dove Farm, a business based on a working farm which has 3 luxury barn conversions and a conference studio which holds up to 18 people. For more details please contact Jane on 01335 324357 or long onto www.dovefarm.co.uk.

New Online Business
WiRE member Sarah Robertson has launched a new online business www.bettyandjeff.co.uk which focuses on jewellery, handbags, accessories and interiors. For more details or to make a purchase log onto www.bettyandjeff.co.uk.

WiRE Connection switches on a new business enterprise
North Yorkshire WIRE members Anne Ellis, life coach, and Sally Hanley, image consultant have joined forces. The coaching duo met at their local Wire network meeting when they were asked to give individual presentations on their own specific fields of work. Sally and Anne have set up their Clearly Confident Workshops offering customers a complete and exclusive confidence plan for life to both look and feel fabulous. For more details contact Sally Hanley on 01904 702734, www.clearlyconfidentimage.com or Anne Ellis on 01423 330965, www.aecoaching.info

WiRE Member finalist for fashion and business awards
Midlands-based fashion newcomer Blessd is achieving startling success and recognition in both regional and national awards. This month the company, which specialises in the design, manufacture and retail of clothing for slim, curvy women, has been named as a finalist in the West Midlands PIN fashion competition. Blessd was one of 12 successful designers to be picked from a total of 42 applicants for the PIN competition, designed to profile the fashion talent of the West Midlands. In addition, next week Blessd will learn if it has won in the prestigious national Start-Ups Business Awards. The company is one of four finalists in the category of ‘Best Business Plan’. For more details visit www.blessd.com.

Wire Logo

Other Events

The National Everywoman Conference 2007, London
This year’s conference offers inspiration from some of the country’s top women in business as well as fresh skills, strategies and ideas to help you grow your business. Now in its 7th year, the conference continues to evolve to meet the needs of women in business throughout the UK. The keynote speaker this year will be Martha Lane Fox, Co-founder of lastminute.com and Co-founder of Lucky Voice Private Karaoke. Following the keynote speech, the day will consist of panel discussions, workshops and networking breaks, allowing you to make the most of your time away from work. The conference is on Wednesday 14th November held at the Central Hall in London. Price for members is £95 + VAT and to receive a further discount enter the code EWE at the end of the online booking form. For further information, and to register, visit www.everywoman.co.uk/Conferences/National/?id=640

Women’s Leadership and Empowerment Conference 2007, Serbia
The Women's Leadership and Empowerment Conference 2007 will take place in Belgrade, Serbia from 1st -2nd December 2007. The Conference will address the key issues, both on personal and professional levels that women face in doing the business today.
Applications are accepted online starting from October 15th 2007. Application forms can be found at http://www.tomorrowpeople.org/index.php? option=com_content&task=view&id=90&Itemid=167. For further details ring +381 11 3629 446 or visit www.tomorrowpeople.org.

Free Courses still to come this Autumn at Askham Bryan College, Yorkshire
Courses on offer include: Get your business in shape, Why register your trademark, Maximising your sales on the internet, Search engines, Unleash the potential of your website and Unleash the potential of your website. Participants may attend one course free of charge. Please contact Janet Brown on 01904 772246 or email ptjb@askham-bryan.ac.uk if you are interested.

Introduction to Import and Export Course in Bradford
A new full day course has been developed for occasional importers and exporters, businesses looking to begin sourcing from overseas, and those interested in starting to export. The course gives a complete overview of the requirements, what to look out for and where to go to get the answers. The course is being held in Bradford on January 10th and costs £225. For more information visit www.chamber-international.co.uk/ training/introduction_to_import_export

One Life Live 2008, London
Tickets are now on sale for the One Life Live 2008. The event is held at Olympia in London from Friday 29th February to Sunday 2nd March. Tickets cost £15 for one day and 2 day weekend tickets are available. Tickets include access to all zones and over 150 free seminars and workshops. You'll also have access to free one-to-one life coaching sessions and advice from a range of experts within One Life Clinics. For more information about the event visit www.onelifelive.co.uk

Partners in Training
Students who have taken the International Association of Book Keepers 12 week qualification all obtained a 100% pass rate at the training centre in Shaftsbury. Any members wishing to enrol please log onto www.partnersintraining.net

Executive Women Leadership Conference in Paris
22nd and 23rd November sees the Executive Women Leadership conference held in Paris. Sasha Bezuhanova, Josephine Green, Lea Blinoff and Katrin Hett are just a selection of keynote speakers present at the event. The aim of the conference is to help fulfil your leadership potential and achieve business excellence. For more details please contact Paul Crafer on +46 (0) 86786040 or email paulc@marcusevansse.com.

Petition Support
Any WiRE members wanting to support farmers who suffered financial loss as a result of the government restrictions of movement of animals can sign the petition by logging onto: http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/FARMERS-FMD/sign.

Female Entrepreneurs Conference, Aberystwyth
The University of Aberystwyth are currently organising a conference on Wednesday 14th November as part of an Interreg funded project running to assist female entrepreneurs. The conference is free of charge and aims to increase awareness of Female Entrepreneurship, highlight the issues faced and celebrate success. For further details or to book please contact Victoria Rose-Piper at the School of Management and Business, University of Aberystwyth on 01970 622209. ver@aber.ac.uk or log on to www.whysofeiw.com.

Enterprise Week


Launch of E-On EnergyLab
E.ON, the UK's largest integrated electricity and gas company, has today joined forces with former 'Tomorrow's World' presenter Philippa Forrester and former 'Changing Rooms' star Oliver Heath to launch 'E.ON EnergyLab' - a nationwide talent search to find Britain's next big innovations in energy efficiency with a cash prize of £10,000 for the winning invention. There are 2 award categories, the E.ON EnergyLab Award and the LIFE-IC Technology Award. Bright ideas should be submitted at www.eonenergylab.co.uk before 30 November 2007. For further details contact Hannah Cheale on 0207 025 6415.

Important Changes in Legislation
As you may be aware new important changes in legislation have come into force. Website www.red-tape.org has free information on all new changes such as the increase to holiday entitlement and increase to minimum wage. For more details visit the website or ring 0845 050 0080 (Monday –Friday 9am-4pm).

Free Programme for recent graduates
Flyingstart are offering a free 12 month programme for women who are current students or recent graduates who plan to start a business based within the UK. The programme kicks off with a 3 day residential to be held at the Park Inn in York on 7th, 8th, 9th January 2008. For more details log onto www.flyingstart-ncge.com or ring Lorna Collins on 07850682833.

State of the Countryside Analysis and Action 2007, Warwickshire
The State of the Countryside Analysis and Action 2007 one day conference is being held at the Arthur Rank Centre, Stoneleigh Park in Warwickshire on Monday 3rd December from 10am to 4pm. The conference is being chaired by Professor John Alliston from the Royal Agricultural College in Cirencester. To reserve a place please phone 024 7685 3060 or email: info@arthurrankcentre.org.uk.

Separation Issues without destroying the family business
Some couples starting in business together find that the strain causes the marriage to collapse. Sadly the traditional court process compounds problems with a slow and inflexible approach. Thankfully there is an innovative way to manage separation without Court. Collaborative Law works by having round table four-way meetings. It is substantially quicker than the Court and separating couples can continue to run a business together, or ensure the business is not damaged. It can result in more creative and flexible solutions for couples. It is also confidential and discreet. For more sources of information www.clapham-collinge.co.uk.

Fast Growth Business Awards 2008
Entries for the 2008 Fast Growth Business Awards are now being taken. Categories which may be of interest to WiRE members are Female Entrepreneur of the Year, Online Business of the Year and Retail/Leisure Business of the Year. Judges include Teresa Graham OBE and Peter Jones of TV’s Dragons Den. Application deadline is 7th December and to apply please log on to www.fgba.co.uk

Free Information for rural businesses
The Regional Enterprise Gateway South West is offering free information and signposting for all rural businesses. It is a resource of high level research and information relevant to rural businesses; grant funding for technical advice, consultancy or training for like minded businesses working together; technical advice to help, encourage and support collaborative activity. For more information log on to www.regsw.org.uk.

Women’s Enterprise Day – 14th November 2007 – All Regions except West Midlands
Enterprise Week is a national celebration of enterprise to encourage more young people to turn their ideas into reality and takes place this year from 12-18 November. It's huge - last year alone saw 3,184 inspiring events attended by 445,000 young people, all happening in just one week. This year's theme is 'who inspires you?' We'll be using the theme to tell the stories of successful female entrepreneurs, business leaders and celebrities, and encourage more young women and girls to take the plunge and make their mark. Any events you plan for Women's Enterprise Day, or during the rest of Enterprise Week, should be registered at www.enterpriseweek.org/register. For any further details contact Alex Ritchie, Women’s Enterprise Campaigner on 020 7497 4030.

Christmas Rural Arts and Craft Day, Spalding
Welland Enterprise Agency is hosting a Christmas Rural Arts and Craft Day at St Nicolas Hall in Spalding on Saturday 15th December. There are a limited number of stalls available for only £15 each which includes a buffet lunch and a workshop displaying a wide range of artistic, creative and unique crafts. For more information and to book a stall please contact Zoe Storer on 01476 531011 or email zstorer@wellent.co.uk,

Leominster Women in Business Event
Question Time with a difference is being held at the British Legion in Leominster and invites you to take part. Tickets cost £12 and a finger buffet is provided. The evening provides a spotlight for Women in Business as a group as well as individual businesses. The event is held on Thursday 15th November from 6pm and finishes at 10pm. For more details call Helen Bowden on 01568 612460 or visit the website www.wibweb.org.uk.

Offers   And Finally

25% off on all jewellery
Jeanette Sargent is offering 25% discount off her jewellery for all WIRE members from now until Christmas. Jeanette makes lovely pure silver necklaces, mostly made from recycled silver. They are very different and contemporary and have been in fashion shows. Gift shops, galleries and a hotel sell Jeanette's pieces as well as on-line and craft and art stalls. If you want to buy a gift or just treat yourself visit www.jeanettesargent.com.

jns jewellery

Special Christmas Offer
Elizabeth Henry of Elizabeth Henry Lifestyle Management Services is offering WiRE members a special rate in time for Christmas. A 3 ½ hour session at the reduced rate of £75.00 (normally £85) with a bottle of Cava included To take advantage of this offer contact Elizabeth on 01992 628304 / 07957187576 or email info@elizabethhenry.co.uk.

Elizabeth Henry

New Identity Offer
Until Christmas Varg Design are offering WiRE members a brand new corporate identity at a reduced price that will scream professionalism and "remember me!". For just £100 Varg Design are offering all WiRE members a new logo, business card, letterhead and compliment slip design. To take advantage of this offer contact Varg Design before 5th December on 07886657752 or visit the website www.canvasbyvarg.co.uk quoting WIREDID.

Varg Design


What’s caught our eye on the WiRE Rural Marketplace this month …

Fiona's Choice:

Having just spent a happy 2 hours browsing through the WiRE Rural Marketplace, I am so inspired, and soon to be lighter of pocket! Rural women have some fantastic businesses, really innovative and different but at the top end of technology (online purchase, great navigation, shopping carts etc). Just one point - I realised that I hadn't clicked on a single listing that hadn't got a photograph or logo - photos sell! Drop Robyn a line if you need instructions on how to do it.

So my choice, it's really difficult to sell a service online, potential customers are suspicious "how much will it cost me?" "what if I hand over my money and it doesn't work?", it's often not very visual and can end up being very wordy.

stock a shop Logo

So it was a delight to find WiRE member Sue Orton-Flynn



It's a brilliantly simple idea; get trading online today but with no compromise on design and easily affordable. I like the way that the prices are clear from the start (no hidden extras), that some tutorial is included in the price, that the options are very easy to understand and it's very visually pleasing (presumably one of their own designs). Online trading is a great way for rural businesses to reach new markets - Stockashop makes it easy.

Fiona Davies
WiRE Growth Manager


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