A Unique Group of Mentors set to Advice the Next Generation of Female Internet Heroes

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Although women count for over 15% of UK entrepreneurs*, they represent less than 4% of start-ups with access to investment funding** in the country. This Gender inequality not only limits the growth of women-led SMEs, but it could also slow women’s enterprise in the post recession years. Following the Women’s Enterprise Task Force Report recommending to enhance the benefit from women networks, particularly in terms of business mentoring and coaching, a group of experienced men and women, all entrepreneurs or involved in SME enterprise, have decided to join forces and take action to trigger change. Simone Brummelhuis, founder of The NextWomen, has today launched the NextWomen Mentoring Programme, in which over 20 outstanding male and female technology entrepreneurs from across the globe have committed to help the future of online enterprise.

“The Angel and VC investment game is still a very masculine environment. We believe that, with guidance from experienced players, many young female entrepreneurs can help change that, just as the past generations have helped change the corporate environment.” says Joana Picq, COO of The NextWomen.

The programme is unique in the way it manages the commitment to the relationship between the mentor and mentee.  NextMentees, as they are called in the programme, commit to one of three different packages ranging in value, while NextMentors choose their NextMentees

“To be a good mentor you must set your heart to it. I need to know my experience, connections and skills can really help my NextMentee launch or grow their start-up before I accept them.” Added NextMentor Sarah McVittie, co-founder of Texperts which was sold to kgb giant, 118118, at the end of 2008.

Launched to give female entrepreneurs ongoing support and advice, the programme has an impressive line-up of internet heavyweights including Michelle Dewberry, founder of Michelle Dewberry ltd and Chiconomise and winner of the second series of The Apprentice; Andrea Nacmias, former CFO of iBazar which was sold to eBay; Judy Piatkus who has set up and sold two publishing companies over the last thirty years including one of the UK’s top 25 publishing companies, Paitkus Books. NextMentees will be able to gain insider knowledge and expertise on starting, growing and exiting a business, while they build confidence around the daily decisions they must make as business leaders. The scheme is primarily aimed at female entrepreneurs, but is also open to men and other professionals seeking entrepreneurial advice and support from its NextMentors. NextMentees can ask to be matched, or can apply to the NextMentor of their choice:

  • Alicia Navarro - Founder and CEO of Skimlinks
  • Andrea Nacmias - Director of Sunfive and the Cannonball Group
  • Bindi Karia - VC/Emerging Business Lead for Microsoft UK
  • Christina Vaughan - Founder and CEO of Image Source
  • Emmanuel Noirhomme - Managing Director of Letsbuyit.com
  • Jana Eggers - CEO of Spreadshirt
  • Joana Picq - COO of The NextWomen
  • Judy Piatkus - Founder of Piatkus Books
  • Katarina Skoberne - Founder of openAd
  • Lesley Eccles - Marketing Director and co-founder of Hubdub ltd
  • Michelle Dewberry - Founder of Michelle Dewberry ltd and Chiconomise and winner of the second series of The Apprentice
  • Natalie Turner - Founder and CEO of Entheo
  • Paul Grant - Founder of The Funding Game workshop initiative
  • Polly Gowers - Founder of Everyclick.com
  • Sarah McVittie - Founder of Texperts
  • Simone Brummelhuis - Founder and CEO of The NextWomen
  • Stewart Townsend - Manager Sun Startup Essentials, UK, Ireland and Europe
  • Tom Harrow - Co-founder of Findababysitter.com
  • Ashley Ward -
  • Collette Dunkley - Founder of XandY Communications
  • Sophie Neary -

More information about individual NextMentors and the various packages can be found on the site and applications can be done by simply filling in The NextWomen Mentoring Programme survey. For industry professionals interested in joining the scheme as a NextMentor, contact jo[at]thenextwomen.com Press contact: Joana Picq – 07530057536 – Jo[at]thenextwomen.com

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