A SUPPORT and networking group for women in business is to be set up in Redditch and Bromsgrove.
The brainchild of Astwood Bank solicitor Sobea Irfan and backed by Redditch MP Rachel Maclean, who helped set up a business herself, the aim is to empower women entrepreneurs in a world too often dominated by men.
“I have always been harping on about getting a group like this sorted out and then Rachel Maclean encouraged me to just do it,” said Sobea, who won the Achievement in Business Award at last year’s celebrations marking 100th anniversary of (some) women getting the vote in Britain.
“It’s going to be about making friends and supporting each other,” she said.
“I think it is harder starting a business as a woman. I know when I started out support was the one thing I needed, someone to talk to, to discuss things with.”
Sobea, who started Bank Solicitors as a niche family law service which has expanded with offices in Redditch, Bromsgrove and Leicester, says she was inspired by Alison Cork of ‘Make it Your Business’ a champion of female entrepreneurs who is now the Government Champion for Women Entrepreneurs.
“Men have their clubs, they go for drinks on a Friday, play golf, go off to Ibiza for a jolly or something,” said Sobea, who set up her own business Bank Solicitors.
“For women it’s tougher, there may be children or their family to think of, that’s why we have to create something for ourselves.
“And I think there’s a thirst for this kind of thing in Bromsgrove and Redditch because at the moment we have nothing.”
Mrs Maclean added: “I have not had to face the challenges Sobea has had – I set up the business with my husband but even so I was in the very male dominated industry of IT, I was having to go out on my own and it was a difficult world to be in.”
The new group shouldn’t make too many demands on the time of already busy businesswomen either, said Sobea.
“It’s not going to be onerous, the important thing is to get the personal connection started and we’ll go from there,” she said.
The first meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, June 19 at a venue to be confirmed.
All those interested in joining can contact Sobea Irfan on 01527 892949 or 01527 314949 or visit www.banksol.co.uk/