International Women’s Day Panel Discussion

International Women’s Day Panel Discussion

Hear from an inspiring panel of female founders on their experience of securing funding for their businesses and their tips for funding.

eScalate has partnered with the University of Oxford’s IDEA Programme to bring you a special online panel discussion for International Women’s Day 2023 with an inspiring line up of female entrepreneurs from impact businesses, sharing their experience of securing funding for their organisations, and discussing this year’s theme #EmbraceEquity.

The discussion will cover:

  • Barriers the panel have faced and how they have overcome them
  • What investors wanted to see from their businesses before investing
  • The increasing interest investors have in businesses that have a positive social and/or environmental impact
  • Tips and experiences from securing their investment
  • What to expect from an investor after they have invested
  • Opportunities for female entrepreneurs

Who is it for?

Female led social enterprises and purposeful businesses in Oxfordshire, UK.


Jo Goodall

Jo is Co-Founder of luna. luna is the UK’s first app dedicated to teen health & wellbeing that acts as a digital older sister, demystifying teen issues that historically may be seen as embarrassing and can make teens feel alienated. The app is primarily aimed at young people aged 11 – 17 experiencing things like menstruation and hormonal acne, as well as their parents, guardians and teachers. And it’s free!

Jo started her career as a Management Consultant at Deloitte before moving to a strategy role with a British retailer and entrepreneur. Inspired by all things entrepreneurship, she returned to Oxford University to complete her post-grad studies and gained an MBA and her business partner, Jas!

Helen White

Helen, founder of houseof, has a background in lighting buying and has designed lighting for the biggest high street names including BHS and made.com. Helen has a passion for homewares and a keen eye for trends in colour, design and manufacturing. As well as producing lighting for the biggest high street names, she has been featured as a key female founder in Living etc and the BBC.

houseof is the climate friendly lighting company. It’s a carbon neutral business started in 2019, and produces high quality, on trend, environmentally conscious lighting.

houseof’s passion for homewares sees the business at the forefront of trends and has been featured in Elle Decoration, The Stylist, Living etc and recently longlisted for the Dezeen Awards.

It has also won startup of the year 2022.

Yasmin Spark

Yasmin is a non-drinking, shrub-making, Oxfordshire native and founder of Align Events.

Her mission is to bring inclusive drinking options to Oxfordshire and the South East whilst creating a circular network for Oxfordshire suppliers by utilising their ingredients in zero-alcohol, vegan cocktails.

Align Events is Oxfordshires’ first and only zero-alcohol bar service. Run by a small and dedicated team of Oxford locals. It’s aim is to solve the missing element at events, parties and festivals – great tasting non-alc drinks for those who choose not to drink but love the social vibe and entertainment that comes with it.

The team provide a fully non-alcoholic bar service using vegan ingredients, made with innovative techniques and sustainably sourced suppliers.

Align Events are committed to reducing alcohol harm in the UK, this is why we donate 6% of profits from all client events to AlcoholChangeUK.

Wenmiao Yu

Wenmiao Yu is an entrepreneur focused on translating scientific innovation into marketable products. She is co-founder and Director of Business Development at Quantum Dice, a venture-backed Oxford University spin-out enabling encryption through a self-certifying Quantum Random Number Generator. Her responsibilities include fundraising and leading quantum technology market creation.

After reading Chemistry at the University of Oxford and co-founding Quantum Dice, Wenmiao was awarded an Enterprise Fellowship at the Quantum Technology Enterprise Centre in Bristol (the youngest across all cohorts). She actively advocates for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, mentoring students in the Oxford Women in Business Society and is also on the committee for New Voices in Space, a part of the Scottish Space Leadership Council. She is one of the UK Young Academy’s first cohort of members selected to shape and guide the Young Academy’s strategy. She will work with an interdisciplinary team to develop and execute creative solutions to societal challenges.

Wenmiao strongly believes in the power of communities, crucial to growing nascent industries such as quantum technologies, and she always wants to hear from like-minded individuals across all disciplines.


Jane Liew

Jane is as an Investment Associate at Oxford University Innovation – the technology transfer office for the University of Oxford. Her role involves managing the University Challenge Seed Fund (UCSF) and OUI’s startup portfolio companies.

Prior to joining OUI, Jane worked for a biotech company in the Oxford Science Park undertaking lab work relating to COVID-19 DNA/RNA primers and probes. Jane graduated with a DPhil in Chemistry from the University of Oxford in 2020 and completed her BSc in Chemistry (Hons) and Finance from the University of Queensland, Australia.

Jane also sits within OUI’s ED&I steering group, aiming to help shape and influence the Equality & Diversity policy internally and any external activities that OUI are directly involved in.

Share with a friend

Does this workshop sound useful for someone you know? Share this link to invite them to join.

About the eScalate Programme

eScalate, is a three-year project, part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) which runs until April 2023 to support Social Enterprises, social entrepreneurs, enterprising charities and purposeful businesses in Oxfordshire.

Support includes:

  • one to ones
  • workshops
  • peer support sessions

For more information about the eScalate programme , visit www.oxfordshirelep.com/escalate

Please note that this event is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and is delivered as part of the eScalate programme to help SMEs. By engaging in this programme you are being offered assistance under the De Minimis regulation which allows a company to receive up to but not exceeding €200,000 of public funding (at the applicable exchange rate) of De Minimis aid over a rolling three-tax year fiscal period. This De Minimis declaration does not cover undertakings engaged in: the primary production of agricultural goods and fisheries/aquaculture, road freight, services of general economic interest and export related activities and activities favouring domestic over imported goods. Please note, support cannot be given to undertakings (businesses) in difficulty. In order to receive support from this programme, you will be required to complete an application form and other relevant documentation. If you need to check your current position for state aid please contact us. If you would like any further information on De Minimis aid and Special Drawing Rights (SDR) subsidies, please see the state aid page on the OxLEP Business website: