Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Entrepreneurial Women Set to Inspire a New Generation

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Entrepreneurial Women Set to Inspire a New Generation

Article excerpt

OVER the last four years, through the highly acclaimed Ifwecanyoucan Challenge, the Entrepreneurs' Forum has been seeking out the region's future entrepreneurial stars.

And in the quest to identify the 'Faces of Entrepreneurship' it's clear that just as many women are looking to build successful businesses in the North East as men, with female entrants to the competition representing at least 50% each year.

At this year's NEW (North East Women) Leaders conference, the students from Central Newcastle High School and other sixth forms across the region will hear from two former Challenge winners, Joanna Feeley and Michelle Taylor.

Joanna set up Trend Bible after working in London and New York for 10 years with the aim of breaking the mould of trend forecasting in the fashion and interiors industry as she explains, "The market place is dominated by huge corporations who apply the same trend information to all market levels.

"Most of my competitors are huge corporations in New York, Paris and London, so I definitely took a leap of faith in starting my own, much smaller business. But I was adamant about offering bespoke products and we're thriving on being a small, personal and accessible business."

As the business has grown and Joanna has started to build a team around her, she has worked hard to develop her skills as a leader, "People told me that my business was all about my creativity and all about me but I've now realised that other people can take on that role and my role is to be a leader.

"I realised that before you take people on, it's essential to define your own role. And now that I've got more people in the business to do the day-to-day client work I can focus on business development and coming up with new ideas."

Before starting up her business in 2008, Michelle worked her way up to becoming the head designer at the stylish and globally iconic, Playboy Intimate's lingerie company.

She created swimwear for the girls of the Playboy mansion, attended extravagant parties in Las Vegas and travelled around the world to places including Milan, Hong Kong and Thailand but headed back to her native North East to create the Tallulah Love lingerie brand. …

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