Suffolk entrepreneur champions women in business
- Credit: Getty Images
An Ipswich businesswoman has been chosen to front a national campaign celebrating females heading up companies.
Jules Shorrock, founder of Citrus Sharp Security Shredding, is one of 15 women selected to illustrate the diversity of women-led businesses in the UK
Banking group NatWest has joined forces with Getty Images to launch the Female Focus campaign, which aims to improve the way female entrepreneurs and business leaders are represented in media and advertising.
It will be creating a new gallery of images on gettyimages.com to illustrate the diversity of female-led businesses in the UK.
Research commissioned by the bank and carried out by YouGov shows that female entrepreneurs have been disproportionately affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
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Ms Shorrock has continued to operate her business throughout the last 12 months, providing confidential paper shredding services. She has adapted to lockdown and coronavirus restrictions by adding online ordering options, diversifying into security-shredding and recycling old uniforms. The company has also served an increasing number of homeworkers through the pandemic.
“2020 was, more than ever, about caring for our communities, staying in touch, listening, learning and adapting quickly to survive. Continually improving the business has helped us retain existing customers and attract hundreds of new buyers,” said Ms Shorrock.
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The new Getty Images gallery features a range of NatWest customers and depicts women of all ages and backgrounds working across a range of industries including farming, blacksmithing, recycling, sustainable business, technology and health, and also reflects the impact of the pandemic on how certain sectors operate.
“This initiative will encourage more long-term investment in female founders, which will in turn stimulate innovation and sustainable economic growth,” said Ms Shorrock.
She advised women looking to launch their own business to ensure they are confident their product or service has a unique selling point.
“It helps to attend an investment readiness programme to better appreciate how the investment process works. It will also help you understand how to leverage all the positive aspects of your business in order to identify and secure the most appropriate investor that really understands you, and feels as passionate about growing the business as you do,” she said.
The new Getty Images gallery features a range of NatWest’s own customers and authentically depicts women of all ages and backgrounds working across a diverse spectrum of industries including farming, blacksmithing, recycling, sustainable business, technology and wellness, and also reflects the impact of the pandemic on how certain sectors operate.
Earlier this year, NatWest doubled its UK Female Entrepreneurship Funding to £2bn.
NatWest chief marketing officer Margaret Jobling said: “Providing funding and business support is central to how we support female-led businesses as a bank. But we know the issue is far broader than this, and that a lack of relatable role models is another barrier that needs to be overcome before women can picture themselves setting up a business.
“Through this partnership with Getty Images, we want to encourage a more realistic and diverse portrayal of female business owners, workers and entrepreneurs in the UK, and hope that this is just the beginning of that transformation.”
New images will continue to be added to the gallery and NatWest is now opening the project up and asking the general public to nominate inspiring female business owners to be photographed and featured.
As well being featured in the image gallery, the next 15 women selected to take part in the campaign will receive one to one coaching sessions and business support from NatWest as well as a photoshoot with Getty Images.
For more information on NatWest’s support for female entrepreneurs, and to nominate women to feature in the next series of shoots, visit here