The Queen’s Students’ Union’s Enterprise team has supported 25 female students through the InnovateHer programme; an initiative to encourage female entrepreneurship and teach vital business skills to undergraduate and postgraduate students at Queen’s.
Throughout the programme, the students have received mentorship in the areas of Idea Generation, Finance, Marketing, Pitching and Leadership. They also took part in an Inspire Me session where they heard from three local business leaders; Naomh McElhatton from the She Said Club, Jennie Wallace from the Beyond Skin clinic, Olivia Burns from Olivia’s Have, and Baker McKenzie’s Rebekah Nevin, and conducted a business visit to Denman International Limited, where they heard from the Marketing & Sales Manager, Catherine McCambridge.
The programme has been sponsored for a fourth year in-a-row by local legal firm, Baker McKenzie, as well as by long-standing supporter, Woman in Business. Following graduation, the female students have received a years’ worth of free Women in Business membership to the Young Women’s network allowing them to develop their careers and network with fellow women in business through the organisation.
Maeve Gorman, HR Business Partner from Baker McKenzie, has said:
“It has been an honour to return as sponsor of InnovateHer and everyone at Baker McKenzie who has been involved has been impressed with the calibre of the students for a fourth consecutive year! As an organisation with a strong representation of women in senior positions, supporting the next generation of female leaders is something that is close to all of our hearts and massively important to the local talent pool. We’ve seen the creativity and the confidence of these students grow during the course of InnovateHer and we can’t wait to see what each of these amazing women do in the future.”
Speaking about her role as InnovateHer programme manager, Francesca Morelli, Enterprise SU Development Officer, said;
“Congratulations to the graduates of InnovateHer 2023. Each year, the participants continue to impress me with their drive to succeed, their teamwork abilities, and their creativity. The feedback from the programme has been incredible, and we’re really grateful to our partners, Baker McKenzie and Women in Business, for enabling the programme to happen. We’d also like to extend a sincere thanks to Enterprise SU Entrepreneur in Residence, Helen Keys, who supports the girls in mentorship throughout the programme. We wish the cohort the best of luck for the future!”
The graduation saw each team take away a share of £1000 as a prize for their business ideas that had been pitched to a panel of judges the day previous, awarding the Most Innovative idea, Best Pitch, Best Use of Technology, Judges’ Choice, and Best Social Enterprise. We hope to receive a positive uptake in the programme again next year by way of high volume and quality applications.