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News Report Page 9 of 9
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More Women than Men Start New Businesses, but Access to Funding Remains a Challenge

POST Pandemic, women in business are proving very resilient with higher numbers than ever starting new businesses, 145,200 all female founded companies were created last year, and this figure is growing by 37.3% each year. It means that in total over 20% of new firms are now led by women, a record high. That said access to funding remains an issue at every stage of the business journey and female led business are still underfunded. Women not only launch businesses with less capital than men, but they are less willing to take on debt.

This is not news to Lisa Wortley, the local business Manager at Liverpool's Metro Bank commented:- "I spend more than half of my week meeting with new business owners. Women in business of 10 feel more cautious than their male counterparts to take on debt. I find that women look for more creative ways to raise capital required to start up or grow, rather than simply approach their bank. Part of my role is to challenge this approach and provide education, support and tools to female entrepreneurs to make access to finance both easier and cost efficient."¯

Lisa has helped hundreds of new Liverpool and Lancashire business women start up and grow their businesses. She has 3 key insights for women in business:-

1. Do not let imposter syndrome hold you back from starting your dream business... It is not uncommon to feel like a fraud whether you are an entrepreneur or a senior executive. Don't let this perfectly normal feeling stop you building your business and embracing success.

2. Building your business is rarely a quick process... Recognise that getting your product or service to market is a massive 1st hurdle. Creating a network of connections and trusted advisors won't happen overnight, don't berate yourself if it's taking longer than you anticipated.

3. Create a strong and clear business plan... This will give you direction; so get help, advice and try and find a mentor who can support you. It's not just about understanding finances and cash flow, it's about anticipating hurdles you need to overcome, setting objectives and some stretching goals to achieve.

Each Metro Bank store has a dedicated local business Manager to support all local businesses and start ups in its community. The business Managers give practical support to business customers, be that the complimentary use of an office in the store to conduct business meetings or advice on the business.

Dementia Arts Collaboration Achieves Awards Success

WHERE the Arts Belong, a unique arts collaboration between dementia care specialist, Belong, and Liverpool contemporary arts centre, Bluecoat, has won the Creative Arts Award at the 3 Sector Care Awards 2022.

At the dazzling ceremony, attended by leading industry figures and not for profit care providers, host Angela Rippon CBE presented the award which recognises excellence in using art to engage with vulnerable people - in this case, Belong's apartment tenants.

The win was determined by a panel comprising top professionals connected to care, including:- CEOs, academics and consultants, following interviews with nominees to explore the background and outcomes of their artistic endeavours.

Since 2019, Belong's customers have worked closely with critically acclaimed artists commissioned by Bluecoat, to promote wellbeing through creative pursuits and evaluate the use of arts in care environments.

The Where the Arts Belong project commenced with 'artist residencies' which initially saw artists working in Belong Villages, leading an array of art forms, ranging from storytelling and sculpture to sound art and dance. The project formed part of the Celebrating Age programme, funded by Arts Council England and The Baring Foundation, with additional support from The Rayne Foundation. Academics observed the wellbeing benefits from the initiative, which included high engagement, enhanced cognitive capacity and an increased sense of community amongst participants.

It was during the Pandemic when participation was widened to help alleviate any loneliness experienced by Belong's apartment tenants. Funded by the Government's Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, the project saw artists Gav Cross, Alan Dunn and Brigitte Jurack bringing the benefits achieved using the arts, into Belong Villages across the North West, via video call.

Commenting on the win, Stacey McCann, Belong Interim Chief Executive and Chief Operating Officer, said:- "We're thrilled to win the Creative Arts Award and it really is a win for all our customers and Bluecoat's commissioned artists. At Belong, we strive to innovate throughout our approach to dementia care, and the arts have proven to be highly successful in engaging with our customers. We're also excited for the Where the Arts Belong exhibition which opens at the Bluecoat, in Liverpool, this month and we invite everyone to come and see the work for themselves."

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