A week of celebration for female entrepreneurs throughout the UK, with events and activities across the country.

17th to 21st June, 2024

Designed to support and encourage women to start their own business, NWEW is the brain child of entrepreneur Alison Cork MBE, in partnership with the British Library Business & IP Centre National Network and sponsored by Dorsett Hospitality International.

The NWEW initiative also includes a competition to win one of ten places on the Women's Launch Lab (WLL) programme, a 3 day Incubator event for female led start up and scale up businesses.

Empowering women, to power Britain.

Women are more likely to turn a profit in their first month of trading than men, yet less than 2% of VC funding is given to female founders in the UK, and over a third start their business with £1000 or less.*

“Whilst we have come a long way, the fact that only one in four businesses is owned or led by a woman is a clear indication that there is more to do.

Not only do women suffer, but so does the economy at large.

My mission remains to help women achieve the parity they deserve, and further improve the position of women in the economy.

Britain can only achieve its full economic potential when women realise theirs.”

Alison Cork

Support for female entrepreneurs in the wider community

National Women’s Enterprise Week is a nationwide initiative founded by the non-profit organisation, Make It Your Business. With free events all over the country open to established and aspiring female entrepreneurs, it is testament to the power of collaboration between women, and the positive impact that they can have with the right network and resources.

Find your local Business & IP Centre: www.bl.uk/bipc. The BIPCs support small business owners, entrepreneurs, inventors and anyone with a business idea. Offering insights and access to free resources, training and events - both online and in-person – the BIPCs are there to help you start or develop a successful business.


June 17th-21st 2024 is National Women’s Enterprise Week. Join us in supporting and celebrating female-powered innovation and entrepreneurship in partnership with The British Library, and the fight against funding inequality.

Why we exist

The funding to profitability gap

Less than 2% of VC funding is given to female and minority group founders in the UK — despite more women entrepreneurs making money in their first month of trading than their male counterparts.

Women leaders hire more women

Female founders are significantly more likely to hire other women, as illustrated in a report by Inc. and Fast Company. On average, these companies were 66% female, while Silicon Valley firms were only 36% female. Supporting female founders means supporting women in the workplace in total.

Meet our founder: Alison Cork, MBE

Behind National Women’s Enterprise Week is author, columnist, presenter, and powerhouse in women’s enterprise, Alison Cork.

Awarded an MBE in 2023 for her services to female entrepreneurship, Alison has been a role model and champion to women in business for over 35 years.

After floating a publishing and mail order business in 1994, making her the youngest female founder of a public company at the time, she later founded the Alison at Home interiors brand.

Alison has seen firsthand the lack of female role models, starting her first business in the 80s – which ignited her passion for empowering women of today to consider entrepreneurship as a natural career choice and possibility. It was because of this core belief that Alison founded and funded Make It Your Business and from which NWEW was born.

As of today, Make It Your Business has seen thousands of women attend its free networking and online training sessions.

Also an ambassador for the British Library Business & IP Centre supporting start-ups and scale-ups (66% of which are female-led), Alison continues to help women nationwide of all ages to achieve their economic potential and financial independence.

Meet our sponsors and partners

Be an ally. Learn more about becoming a sponsor, here.

As seen in the media

*According to 2023 research NWEW carried out with Sapio using 250 male and 250 female entrepreneurs in the UK