In recent years, female entrepreneurship has been on the rise. according to figures released by the Office for National Statistics there are over 1.25 million women in self-employment, including business owners, so why do female entrepreneurs continue to face challenges in starting and growing businesses? 

The University of Birmingham’s Centre for Women's Entrepreneurship and Leadership (CWEL) in conjunction with The Institute of Leadership & Management invite you to join us to hear from leading academics, professionals and entrepreneurs about how they will be collectively working together with local and national policy-makers to promote female entrepreneurship and inclusive leadership. 

This event is by invitation only. To book your place or find out more, please contact


Meera Sonecha

West Midlands Combined Authority

Kate Cooper

Head of Research, Policy and Standards

Kate shapes an innovative research programme at The Institute of Leadership & Management designed to inform, inspire and impact the practice of great leadership wherever it happens. Her role is informed by her career as a senior academic in a university business school, focusing on strategy, leadership and professional development. 

Kate is also a conference keynote speaker, internationally, and provides expert commentary on a range of topics arising from the Institute’s research agenda. She is regularly quoted in regional, national and international media, has appeared on both BBC television and radio, is a Forbes contributor and has a regular column in Dialogue Review, the business magazine for leaders.

Rosie Ginday

Social Entrepreneur & Founder

Rosie Ginday, Social Entrepreneur, Pastry Chef reducing re-offending in young offenders, founder and Director of Miss Macaroon. Rosie Ginday is no average baking businesswoman. Rosie founded Miss Macaroon to combine her passion for beautiful hand-crafted food, baking, and her desire to help disadvantaged young adults in her local area, Birmingham. 

Rosie is a winner of the Enterprise Catalyst Social Entrepreneur 2015 awards, the Asian Business Young Entrepreneur Midlands Award 2016 and winner of the Ernst and Young Midlands Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year Awards 2016

James O'Toole

Principal Coach at TRADESCEND and Co-Founder of KOTOMEC

Kiran Trehan

Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Partnerships and Engagement, The University of York

Professor Kiran Trehan is Pro Vice Chancellor for Partnerships and Engagement, Professor of Entrepreneurship and Director of the Centre for Women’s Enterprise, Leadership, Economy & Diversity (WE-LEAD) at the University of York.

She is an expert on leadership development, enterprise and diversity in business; she has led a number of leadership, enterprise and business support initiatives and is an author in this field.

Professor Treharn is also co-editor of ‘Action Learning: Research and Practice’, the first international journal dedicated to the advancement of knowledge and practice through action learning.