Ilkley entrepreneur Becky Davies-Downes celebrated in the House of Lords to mark International Women’s Day

An entrepreneur from Ilkley was among inspiring female founders from across the UK celebrated in the House of Lords to mark International Women’s Day.

Becky Davies-Downes, founder of William and Tilda, attended a special International Women’s Day reception at the House of Lords on Monday, March 7.

The event spotlighted over 100 impressive and multi-successful women entrepreneurs, championed by Small Business Britain’s ƒ:Entrepreneur #ialso100 campaign, which highlights contribution to society, economy and to the communities that many female founders bring across the country.

Becky Davies-Downes was named ƒ:Entrepreneur #ialso100 in 2021 in recognition of her inspiring entrepreneurial journey, which involved running a business alongside a list of other responsibilities. Becky, William and Tilda’s company focuses on recreating the clothing of 1940s wartime Britain, exploring how government initiatives such as the Utility program sought to clothe the nation while conserving resources valuable to the war effort. Much of her work examines in detail how this was achieved, the lessons that can be learned from the success of such programs and how the past can influence our approach to a more sustainable fashion industry in the future.

Becky Davies-Downes enjoyed afternoon tea and networking in Westminster, meeting peers from the ƒ:Entrepreneur #ialso cohorts of 2021 and 2022, as well as special guest speaker Labor MP Dr Rosena Allin -Khan, who paid tribute to the power of female entrepreneurship.

Becky Davies-Downes said: “What an amazing day to be a part of. I’ve met some truly inspiring women doing amazing things. Finally being able to meet, chat and hear their stories was a great example of just how much talent and innovation women-led small businesses have to offer.”

Delivered by Small Business Britain – the UK’s leading small business champion – the f:Entrepreneur campaign was launched in 2017 to highlight the stories of amazing female business owners and help provide inspiration and role models to the entire small business community. Now in its fifth year, the campaign offers a host of events, trainings and networking opportunities to build skills, capacity and confidence.

This follows new research by the campaign this month which found that in the wake of the pandemic, almost a fifth (17%) of women are considering entrepreneurship, with 44% citing the pursuit of a passion as a key motivator, alongside 46% wanting more flexibility.

“To be in a room full of female founders as impressive as Becky was truly uplifting, especially after a difficult few years for entrepreneurs,” said Michelle Ovens CBE, founder of Small Business Britain and the ƒ:Entrepreneur campaign.

“Hearing all of the incredible things these women are doing and the impact they are having, not just in their businesses but in their wider communities, is truly inspiring and underscores that we need to do all we can to support them. This profound The desire among women to create opportunity from their passions, to build businesses with a mission and purpose at heart, and to drive success, despite everything thrown at them during this pandemic, is incredibly powerful. We need to foster female entrepreneurship so that it continues to thrive in the UK and plays a key role in the recovery.”

To see the full list of the 100 amazing women featured in last year’s f:entrepreneur #ialso100 campaign, including Becky, visit https://fentrepreneur.com/ialso-100-2021/

For this year’s list visit her visit https://f-entrepreneur.com/ialso-100-2022/

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