FoundHER: Digital festival heading to Manchester in July


AllBright, the first funding and support platform of its kind in the UK, is set to make Manchester the northern capital of female entrepreneurship with the first FoundHER festival in the city in July.

The two-day event dedicated to female founders in the north is packed with must-see speakers guaranteed to inspire founders, investors and anyone interested in starting their own business – however big or small.

Taking place at Manchester Town Hall on July 3 and 4, the festival features an outstanding line-up of speakers who all have one mission – to inspire and help other women in the north follow their business dreams.

These include:

Marilyn Stowe (Stowe Family Law) – Nicknamed ‘The Barracuda’, Marilyn enjoys a reputation as one of the most formidable divorce lawyers in the UK. Marilyn founded her firm Stowe Family Law in 1982 which she then grew into the UK’s largest law firm encompassing 12 offices nationally – 66% of her lawyers were women. This year Marilyn sold the business for an undisclosed eight-figure sum.

Lou Cordwell (magneticNorth) – Lou is the founder and CEO of digital design studio, magneticNorth. Founded from her mother’s kitchen table in 2000, Lou quickly developed the company into one of the UK’s leading digital agencies with an international reputation and an award winning client portfolio that includes the BBC, Google and Hull 2017.
Alongside the day job, she’s also a board member on Greater Manchester’s Local Enterprise Partnership, Chair of Design Manchester and Northern Director of AllBright.

Jennie Johnson (Kids Allowed) – Salfordian Jennie founded Kids Allowed in 2003 after she found herself with a four year old and a newborn but without a nursery she was happy to live them in. Some 14 years later Kids Allowed is one of the region’s most successful nursery groups with six centres and 360 employees. She has one simple philosophy – kids should be allowed to be kids.

Kate Goodman (Reserve Wines) – Kate knows more than a thing or two about wine. As an accountant for KPMG in Zurich, one day she walked into the office & knew the corporate world wasn’t for her – instead she wanted to follow her dream of working in the wine industry. With a leap of faith, she remortgaged her house and in 2003 opened Reserve Wine in Didsbury with the aim of making great wine fun and accessible. Kate now has outlets at the multi-award winning Altrincham Market and the famous Bents Garden Centre in Warrington. This August she will open her fourth site in Manchester’s Northern Quarter.

Allbright Festival of Female Founders

Following on from the Allbright Festival of Female Founders in London featuring speakers such as Cath Kidston, Samantha Cameron and Liz Earle, the Manchester event will give a platform to business women who, for the first time, will be sharing their incredible stories.

These include women from all stages of the business life cycle – from those trying to get their idea off the ground, to those enjoying global success, to those who have now sold their business – on their terms.

Panels will offer valuable insights into:

  • Honing your big business idea
  • Getting funding
  • Promoting your business
  • Essential legal advice
  • Brand development

Debbie Wosskow, co-founder of AllBright, said: “When we started AllBright, we pledged to help female founders get the advice and support needed to launch and scale their businesses.

“FoundHER has been created with this in mind. It is the first festival of its kind and has been designed to give female founders across the UK access to learn and hear from our network of successful business experts.”

Anna Jones, also a co-founder of AllBright, adds: “FoundHER is not another stuffy business conference. It is truly a interactive, inspirational and educational festival.

“We have designed it to be immersive, informative and fun. We want every festival goer to leave feeling fulfilled and excited about the opportunities available to them.”

Tickets are now on sale to the general public. Prices start at £44 and you can buy them here.


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