International Women’s Day: shining the light on female entrepreneurs
This Sunday, 8th March is International Women’s Day and we are taking the opportunity to celebrate all the successful women in business who we’ve helped to start-up through the Start Up Loans scheme.
International Women’s Day celebrates the achievements of women, while calling for greater equality and the theme this year is #MakeItHappen.
One area in particular being highlighted is the growth of women owned businesses. Female entrepreneurs are on the rise and is at the highest level it’s ever been with 1.5 million women self-employed in the UK.
We caught up with Kirsty Ashton, from Hitch and Moon who is one of many women who’ve made it happen in business.
Tell us about Hitch and Moon
Hitch and Moon is a professional wedding design and honeymoon planning service based in Hampshire.
I help couples with all aspects of their wedding (the Hitch) from full planning and wedding day coordination to organising their perfect honeymoon (the Moon).
How did you come to start your own business?
I had always wanted to be part of the wedding industry, but unfortunately when the recession hit it just wasn’t financially viable.
When my circumstances changed in 2013 and as there wasn’t any room for further progression in my role as an assistant accountant, I resigned and started to plan my own business.
What was the process of starting up like?
I’ve had quite an amazing experience since starting and have learnt an awful lot.
Creating my business plan took a lot of time as I wanted it to be perfect, but it was such a valuable and worthwhile exercise. It helped me clearly set out my path of where I needed to be and how I was going to get there.
It hasn’t been easy, it was quite a culture shock for me, but every day I am doing something different, learning something new and meeting new and exciting people.
The Start Up Loans scheme was a massive support for me and it provided me with the opportunity to kick start my business. They have a really helpful support system and lots of advice and offers to help new start-ups.
And, the most exciting part is that this is just the beginning! I don’t miss my 9 – 5 job at all and I am embracing the freedom of owning my own business.
How does it feel to be a successful woman in business?
I was really lucky to be nominated last year for ‘Business Woman of the Year’ and ‘Best Success Story’ 2014. It was such a boost to have been acknowledged having only been in business for a short time.
Although I didn’t win either of my categories, it was such an overwhelming experience to see so many women in one room making a difference to the world.
It was at that point that I felt so proud of not only myself, but of all the other women in that room and all over the world who are following their dreams.
Find out more about International Women’s Day here and follow @womensday, #MakeItHappen.
For more information about Hitch and Moon visit www.hitchandmoon.com, follow @hitchandmoon and like ‘hitchandmoon’ on Facebook. Kirsty can be contacted on 07920 262206 and email@example.com.
If you, like Kirsty are ready to fulfil your dreams in business, get in touch with us and find out how we can help. Call 0844 943 2988, email firstname.lastname@example.org and follow @ldbstartup.
Find out more about Start Up Loans online, take a look at our success stories and when you’re ready, complete a Starting Your Enterprise form.