The University of Suffolk has marked the first year of the Ipswich Waterfront Innovation Centre (IWIC) with the launch of the Suffolk Centre for Female Entrepreneurship.
Sally Goodsell from New Anglia Capital Group spoke at an event for local businesses and organisations held at the University’s Atrium Building.
Sally has spent the last thirty five years supporting and funding ambitious businesses. She was formerly CEO of the FSE Group where she oversaw £100 million of investment into early stage businesses and spent 4 years as a director of a leading Crowd funding platform. She is passionate about supporting female entrepreneurs and started the UK's first business angel network that specialised in investments in female led businesses. She received the national Prowess award in 2008 for her outstanding contribution to female entrepreneurship. Sally is a business angel (with Anglia Capital Group) and continues to mentor and coach businesses.
Sally said "I am delighted to be associated with the Centre for Female Entrepreneurship. Females make fantastic entrepreneurs and run brilliant businesses, but sadly are still under represented in this field. Research shows that females face particular barriers in starting and growing businesses and it is therefore great that the university is now providing specialist support to enhance the potential of female entrepreneurs in our region."
The Ipswich Waterfront Innovation Centre (IWIC) provides a focal point for developing high growth potential ICT small to medium enterprises (SMEs) in partnership with the University and a space to foster student enterprise initiatives.
In its first year, 50 business engagement events have been held with a total 1,000 attendees. There are five Developer Groups who regularly use the space and the number of members joining IWIC grows month by month.
Stef Thorne, Head of Research and Enterprise Services at the University, said “We have been working closely in partnership with colleagues in the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Ipswich Borough Council, Suffolk County Council and the private sector including BT to create IWIC, and this year we have been developing the Suffolk Centre for Female Entrepreneurship with colleagues at the LEP. Both illustrate the important contribution the University can make to local growth and we have ambitious plans to grow our members and the impact we have on the region, and further afield, in the coming years.”
The IWIC and the new Suffolk Centre for Female Entrepreneurship are housed within the University’s Atrium Building which last year underwent a £5.5m refurbishment, thanks in part to a £1.85m award by the LEP as part of the New Anglia LEP’s Growth Deal with the Government.
New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership Board Member Jeanette Wheeler said "I was pleased to be at the event marking two great milestones - the first anniversary of the Ipswich Waterfront Innovation Centre, which was supported by our Growth Deal with Central Government, and the launch of the Suffolk Centre for Female Entrepreneurship. Encouraging women to start their own businesses, and giving them the support, mentoring and leadership they need to make them successful is so important and I am sure it will be very valuable resource for the town and beyond."
Mayor of Ipswich, Cllr Sarah Barber added “I am fully supportive of this new enterprise. A recent report has put Ipswich at the very top of the national league table for new start-ups in 2017. Let us make sure that a good proportion of them are led by female entrepreneurs and I am sure that with the support and advice in place that this will happen. I wish the Centre every success.”
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