The BPCC together with Provident Polska celebrated International Women’s Day with a forum dedicated to the power of female entrepreneurs, followed by a networking mixer for women. The event, which took place at the headquarters of Provident, showcased the power that women can exert on the economy when they support each other. A platform for sharing personal experiences in setting up and growing businesses, and dealing with the many day-to-day challenges encountered, the event drew out many valuable insights and inspirations.

BPCC chairwoman, Aneta Jóźwicka, director of Corporate Relations Diageo Polska, welcomed guests and introduced the event, after which Agnieszka Kłos-Siddiqui, managing director of Provident Polska, outlined the company’s programmes for female entrepreneurship, based on the exchange of experiences and a support network. Provident has created a database of women experts to promote knowledge.

Ms Kłos-Sidddiqui went on to moderate a panel discussion  with the participation of HM Ambassador to Poland, Anna Clunes, Elżbieta Pełka, owner of the integrated marketing agency, Elżbieta Pełka and Partners, and a member of the board of BPCC, Aleksandra Karasińska, the editor-in-chief, of Forbes Women and Marta Kosińska, corporate communication and CSR lead at Avon Cosmetics Polska. The panel took questions from the audience, and the evening finished with networking, and wine-tasting courtesy of DobreWina.

Participants heard that 13.5% of Poland’s GDP is generated by around one million companies founded by women, and the female-led companies have an above-average track record when it comes to profitability and conducting cross-border business. Ms Clunes spoke about the opportunities and barriers to female entrepreneurs in the UK, as well as offering her views about being a woman in diplomacy. The characteristics of successful women leaders were listed – integrity, coherence, diligence, the ability to multi-task – and vision.

Self-confidence also plays a crucial role, participants heard, which often means overcoming stereotyped social perceptions of a woman’s role in the economy. Working to boost one’s self-belief is an important element of becoming a more effective entrepreneur, and the notion that a woman can build her own career path at every stage of her life role is also fundamental.

This event, following on from the BPCC’s 2nd Female Leadership Forum held in December, highlights the importance that the chamber attaches to diversity and inclusivity in business – more female events will be held this year.