#BreakingtheBias in Business

This International Women’s Day we are celebrating women across the district who are forging their own path and running a business. Starting your own business is not easy for anyone and it’s especially hard if you are a woman.

The Rose Review of 2019 found that only 1 in 3 UK entrepreneurs is female: a gender gap equivalent to 1.1 million missing businesses. Some of the reasons for this were cited as lack of access to funding, providing greater family support and making entrepreneurship more accessible, tailoring support through an understanding that women are often more risk averse, more likely to think they lack skills and experience and less likely to have a relatable sponsor or mentor.

We would like to celebrate two women entrepreneurs running successful businesses in Evesham and Pershore. We hope that reading this will inspire you if running your own business is something you would love to do but you lack the confidence to take the first step.

‘To shine a spotlight on activity uplifting and inspiring women to pursue goals without bias or barrier’

One of the missions this year for International Women’s Day is Women’s Empowerment We think Kirstie’s approach to running her business reflects this mission perfectly and demonstrates the importance of women empowering other women to feel better about themselves.

Kirstie, the owner of Carva Clothing is a body positivity champion and has been instilling confidence in women through clothes for seven years. Kirstie has grown her business from a market stall in Pershore to now running a well-established and popular store in Evesham’s charming courtyard, Market Place.

Kirstie started her business after a trip to Spain where she fell in love with the clothing on offer from a stockist there. After many years of struggling to find clothes that made her feel good Kirstie wanted to share this joy with other women.

“The confidence my clothes can give to other women is something I will never get tired of!”

“Some ladies come into my shop quiet as a mouse, apologetic in their existence, hiding away from a world that doesn’t accept them – when they leave, they are ten feet taller.”

Kirstie offers a service where items are handpicked and without size labels, she doesn’t want women to worry about what size they are, so every customer leaves having had a personalised experience and feeling excited about wearing their new purchase.  Kirstie tells us this International Women’s Day,

‘We live in a world where a women can achieve anything whilst still looking fabulous’

To celebrate the work of women creatives and elevate visibility for commercial projects and commissions

We think that Jilly is a great example of the International Women’s Day mission Women Creatives. Running a gallery had been a lifelong ambition of Jilly’s and after a successful career in graphic, web design and photography Jilly turned her attention to painting and set up Architectural Impressions

Jilly has now opened The Gallery on Pershore high street, where with her husband Chris she has created a platform for 25 other artists to also benefit from having a presence alongside her work. The artists exhibiting usually include at least 3 Pershore based artists and some international artists, all at different stages of their career, who change on a rotational basis.

Jilly has worked hard to make sure that ‘The Gallery’ is accessible to all budgets with pieces ranging from £20 – £600. Jilly and Chris are keen for The Gallery to be a social space ‘We’re a joyful, colourful space celebrating art and we hope to build a community and platform for local artists.” Reflecting on this years International Women’s Day Jilly tells us,

“I feel very proud of the space we have created and to be able to support artists across the county. “


There is a range of different support on offer for women to set up and grow their own business both at the local and national level. In Worcestershire women can join networking groups such as Women Who that provide free online networking events and support with advertising. There is also support available from the Women’s Business Forum at Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce. All of the towns in Wychavon also have business networks. At a national level this website provides links to other support and opportunities for female entrepreneurs.

Wychavon District Council offers a range of business grants from starting or growing your business through the lifecycle of your business so do check out the website for information on what grants are available.

This International Women’s Day we encourage you to #breakthebias around women in business and take the next step towards realising your ambitions of running your own business or tell us about any female-led businesses in the district that you love and what makes them amazing.

Remember – Hashtag #breakthebias