Producing Success

Tuesday, March 8, 2016 - 11:15

International Women’s Day, held each year on March 8th, is an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women. Dumfries and Galloway’s food and drink sector has many inspirational women entrepreneurs within it - from well established companies like Cream o’ Galloway, In House Chocolates and Galloway Lodge Preserve to tasty hospitality businesses like House o’ Hill, Salzman Catering and Abbey Cottage; social media savvy young businesses, like Galloway Chillies, Wee Sweetie and Dotty Designs to brand new startups such as The Galloway Soup Company.

The prominence of women entrepreneurs within the sector is probably no accident. Food and drink is an accessible and a relatively easy sector to start a business in. For many women entrepreneurs starting a small business is an opportunity to make use of creative talents or cookery skills they may have developed over the years, or it’s a way of sharing treasured family recipes with others.

Others may have spotted market opportunities, a gap in the market or a new food trend. The rise in gluten free small businesses points to an increase new passions after a medical diagnosis for example; while rural based businesses often complement a family farm or tourism business, making use of accessible local routes to market such as farmers’ markets or community fairs.

For too many women, becoming self employed can be a necessity rather than a choice – whether through redundancy or a need to balance caring for family members around the need to make an income. Whatever the reason, starting a small business is often a catalyst for powerful change.

Empowerment is what happens when you successfully make it happen in the food and drink sector. Getting positive feedback on a product you’ve created is truly empowering.

Growing your business, seeing it succeed through your own hard work, ingenuity, creativity and passion is a reward like no other. Finding networks and supportive mentors or fellow small business owners is an inspiring way to keep motivated and enthused. We all have down days but by connecting and working together we can lift each other up.

The theme of 2016’s International Women’s Day is ‘Pledge for Parity’ and the campaign encourages businesses, organisations and individuals to take concrete action against five areas. In D&G’s food and drink sector we’re going to focus on just one over the next year.

Ambition.

As a region and as a sector we need to be more ambitious. We need to grow a more stable, more successful, more innovative and more profitable food and drink sector in Dumfries and Galloway, to create jobs, to develop iconic food and drink brands, to generate consumer demand, to spark ideas and cultivate a culture of success and achievement to make the very most of the outstanding natural larder and incredible passion and creativity of the people who live and work here.

How will we do this? Well that’s a whole other blog post…

Published by Lorna Young from DG Food & Drink on Tuesday, March 8, 2016 - 11:15