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Date: Thursday 26 September 2019
Time: 12:00pm - 2:30pm
Venue: WWF UK LIving Planet Centre, Brewery Road, Woking, GU21 4LL

Woking Works, in partnership with Surrey Chambers of Commerce, is pleased to bring all female leaders and entrepreneurs together to hear a report on The Rose Review, which looks to identify the barriers faced by women when starting or growing a business.

The Rose Review:

The government-commissioned Rose Review examines the barriers women in business face and what can be done to overcome them.

The UK is the start-up capital of Europe, attracting more venture capital than any other European country, yet only one in three UK entrepreneurs is female. In comparison with 15% of women in Canada, almost 11% of women in the US, and over 9% of women in Australia and the Netherlands, only 5.6% of UK women run their own companies. But without more women in business, the UK is losing out. According to a new government-backed review by Alison Rose, CEO of commercial and private banking at NatWest, boosting female entrepreneurship could add £250bn to the economy.

What’s holding women back? Rose’s review says access to funding, risk awareness, primary care responsibilities and perception of skills are among the barriers female entrepreneurs need to overcome. And in order to do that, she recommends eight initiatives the private sector (and parts of the public sector) can take forward, including: increased funding; support from private investors; the expansion of mentoring and networking opportunities; and accelerating the rollout of entrepreneurial courses to schools and colleges.

Our Speakers

Sharniya Ferdinand, Business Inclusion Programme Manager, CPB

Sharniya FerdinandSharniya has worked for NatWest for 7 years. With experience in both Personal Banking and Business Banking. Sharniya’s previous roles involved her being a trusted advisor to her customers, supporting them with their financial needs and hosting educational business focused events to encourage customers to grow and exceed their business expectations.

In 2017 Sharniya was awarded the RBS Women’s Opal award recognising her contribution to women in business. Most recently Sharniya was recognised as a 2019 Rising Star in Diversity by We Are The City.

In her current role as Business Inclusion Manager Sharniya manages a customer led strategic programme of inclusion activities across the bank and for corporate clients.

She is passionate about diversity and inclusion and empowering those who are underrepresented in their industries and communities, she supports the banks aspiration to be a truly inclusive place to work. 

Sharniya holds a BSc (Hons) in Psychology from the University of the West of England, and holds a Masters Degree in Events and Exhibitions Management. In her spare time Sharniya writes an online blog, sharing her personal experiences in life.


Martine Robins, Director, HR Dept.

Martine RobinsMartine Robins is an HR expert gained from many years in corporate HR.  In 2016, she decided to set up her own company offering support and advice primarily to SMEs in and around Woking.

Having worked in various generalist HR roles throughout her career most recently in an international business as global group HR Director.  She has worked in a variety of business sectors including engineering, manufacturing, technology and professional services in UK, European and Global roles.

In April 2019, having successfully grown her business around the Woking area, Martine expanded it to include Guildford and the surrounding area too.

Martine is passionate about helping businesses grow and learning and development.  So to support this, she is an Associate Growth Champion at Enterprise M3, Board member of a local Apprenticeship provider, CIPD mentor to HR professionals and an Enterprise Advisor supporting schools/colleges to build meaningful and mutually beneficial relationships with the local business community.

Martine is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (FCIPD).





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