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    Posted 12 December 2002

    A NEW FORMAT for the fourth annual Women in Rural Enterprise National Conference will emphasise the benefits of networking and learning from the experiences of others, when it is held next year.

    A programme of six rolling workshops and five, drop-in, Question and Answer sessions will encourage WiRE delegates to make the most of the day, ask experts the burning questions most relevant to their enterprise and share their experiences and knowledge with their fellow entrepreneurs.

    These events will also be topped and tailed with WiRE’s customary range of inspirational business speakers, all women who have started, maintained and expanded rural businesses of their own – often against the odds, but always with a sense of humour and determination to succeed.

    Faye Easton, a self-taught entrepreneur, Dorothy Wightman, owner of Dorothy Wightman’s Fine Furnishings and Kate Shropshire, of Field 2 Kitchen, will set the tone of the day, encouraging delegates to make the most of opportunities in a rural community that has never before been so diverse.

    Workshops covering E-Commerce, the seven stages of Active Selling, how to Negotiate for Success, Personal Development, PR in a Nutshell and Business Growth will bring together experts from industry to share the tips of the trade.

    Five Business Forums will offer Question & Answer sessions, on a drop-in basis, on a diverse range of topics. Business Basics will cover everything you need to know for a new business start-up, from registering your business name to your first steps in bookkeeping and marketing. Other sessions will look in more depth at IT, taxation, rural grants and aid and Visual Merchandising.

    A number of organisations will also have business information points at the conference to discuss their services with delegates. These will include HSBC Bank PLC, UK Online for Business, DEFRA, Business Link Shropshire, The Countryside Agency and Heart of England Fine Foods.

    The last year has seen the WiRE initiative go from strength to strength and it now boasts a nationwide membership scheme with around 700 members and an ever-expanding programme of events taking place around the country.

    The National Conference 2003 takes place at Harper Adams University College, Shropshire, on Thursday, February 6th, next year. For just £20, you will receive access to all the day’s events, lunch and refreshments as well as a one-year membership of Women in Rural Enterprise.

    This event is a must for all rural businesswomen with something for everyone, whether you’re trying to develop an idea or just looking for the next step. For further information or a booking form, please contact WiRE on +44 (0) 1952 815 338, E-mail: or visit the web-site:


    Notes to Editors: Women in Rural Enterprise (WiRE) is supported by Advantage West Midlands, Business in the Community, Business Link, Harper Adams University College and HSBC Bank PLC.

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