Dorsett Hospitality invests £10,000 in female entrepreneurs

by: Felicity Cousins | June 26, 2024

UK: Dorsett Hospitality International (DHI) has announced the winners of the Women’s Launch Lab incubator programme as part of National Women’s Enterprise Week (NWEW).

During NWEW, Dorsett Hospitality International’s Shepherds Bush hotel hosted five female-led start-ups and five female scale-ups.

The contenders were selected from 110 applications for the Women’s Launch Lab, which saw a 30 per cent increase in entries compared with last year.

Chiu said: “The National Women’s Enterprise Week has been nothing short of inspirational. Dorsett Hospitality International invests in positive impacts, and we are proud to have supported this nationwide celebration of women-led businesses for the second year running.”

The 10 entrepreneurs pitched their business ideas to a panel of judges including Winnie Chiu, DHI’s chairman and executive director; businesswoman Akshata Murty; Alison Cork MBE, the TV presenter and entrepreneur who founded Make It Your Business to support budding businesswomen and NWEW; and Sabrina Ho, entrepreneur and CEO of Poly Auction Hong Kong. 

The two winning female founders are Jenny Wordsworth of OVUM and Beatrice Larkin of Beatrice Larkin and each were awarded £5,000 in funding from Dorsett Hospitality International to further grow their businesses.

Wordsworth’s company OVUM has a stated mission to “redefine fertility care and empower individuals with knowledge”. 

The company’s flagship product is their scientifically backed and patented preconception food supplement focused on improving egg quality. OVUM’s second product is stated by the company to be the first fully recyclable pregnancy test and includes immediate support in case of an unexpected test result.

OVUM also reinvests 20 per cent of its profits to fund independent research into the causes of infertility and fertility awareness campaigns.

Beatrice Larkin is a Margate-based woven textile designer with a hand-drawn signature style, specialising in woven luxury fabrics for the interiors market. 

The Royal College of Art graduate has previously designed ranges for and Piglet in Bed, as well as a collection for the Tate Modern. 

Beatrice Larkin has plans to expand its product ranges and routes to market, and to sell internationally. 

Chiu added: “I extend my heartfelt congratulations to this year’s remarkable winners of the Women’s Launch Lab, and eagerly anticipate witnessing the continued accomplishments of all participants as they advance in their ventures”.

 Image supplied