Posted: 15th June 2018
There are not many times a WiRE (Women in Rural Enterprise) meeting is awed into silence, but that is exactly what happened at last week’s Leicestershire and Rutland meeting.
The group met at The Cambridge Satchel Company’s factory and shop in Syston, Leicestershire, and were honoured to meet founder Julie Deane OBE, who is the first woman to have been awarded International Entrepreneur of the Year at the European Business Awards in 2013, among many other accolades.
WiRE is a national organisation that supports rural businesswomen, many of whom started at a kitchen table like Julie, so the group were captivated by her stories of ups and downs and pearls of wisdom.
Among them was WiRE Business Manager, Fiona Davies, who is a self-professed fan of Julie’s and presented her with an honorary WiRE membership.
Fiona said: “Julie encompasses everything that WiRE stands for and has been an inspiration to so many of our members who come from all walks of life.
“Her story is incredible and yet she’s still such a humble woman to talk to and learn from.”
Julie added: “I’m truly honoured to have been welcomed to the WiRE community and network of wonderful women doing what they love so well.”
The meeting was organised by Leicestershire and Rutland WiRE leader Claire McFadden who owns printing firm Full Square Ltd in Leicester. She said: “The Leicestershire and Rutland group has been running for 18 months and Julie is definitely the most inspiring speaker we have had to date. It was wonderful to see women from other groups joining us for the first time.
“Each month we try to visit a different rural business to hear their story and support the rural economy and we’d like to thank General Manager Mark Fitzpatrick who kindly showed us around the site.
“It was a great insight into one of Britain’s household name brands.”