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FreelanceHER 100 announces 11 inspirational mentors for its multi-award winning programme

The multi-award winning FreelanceHER 100 accelerator programme, developed by IN4 Group, is set to return on 1 March with 11 female business leaders acting as mentors to support and inspire 100 women to launch and grow successful freelance businesses.


The mentors work with participants to foster a safe community of female freelancers, providing them with the confidence, skills and ability to succeed. The fully funded programme is based on a detailed understanding of the challenges faced by female entrepreneurs and empowers them to meet their business growth ambitions.


Over 12 weeks, learners will access weekly workshops and peer-to-peer mentoring, led by some of the UK’s best freelance entrepreneurs and micro-business experts from a diverse range of industries, including tech, sports, agriculture, health, creative and HR.


The mentors for this year are:

  • Abigail Irozuru, Olympic athlete and director of Manchester Tutors
  • Advita Patel, director and co-founder of CommsRebel and A Leader Like Me
  • Allison Angel, CEO and founder of Years of Style
  • Anita Frost, founder of Green Bean Studios
  • Annabell Gast, director of Oh My Gast
  • Dot McCarthy, founder of Cronkshaw Fold Farm
  • Jo Perruzza, founder of Working with you in MIND
  • Kellie Rixon MBE, founder of Rixon Associates
  • Laura Jane Boast, director of Conscious Made
  • Marie Burns, chartered business psychologist and health and wellbeing specialist
  • Rachel Ray, entrepreneur and business consultant


All the mentors have either started a business or worked at a start-up so they can share their first-hand practical experiences, enabling FreelanceHER 100 entrepreneurs to create, innovate, learn and grow.


Abigail Irozuru is an elite athlete who made her Olympic debut in 2021, representing Team GB at the Tokyo Games and finishing 11th in the Olympic final. She also runs a tuition agency matching high-quality tutors with students at home to boost their grades and confidence.


Abigail said: “I’m excited to inspire, equip and empower the FreelanceHER 100 participants - supporting dreams and ambitions to become a reality by sharing my personal experiences in business, athletics and entrepreneurship and the lessons learned from these spaces. At the same time, I know I will also be inspired and learn from each of the women on the programme as I mentor and see them develop their gifts, talents and ideas to establish businesses that will provide much-needed solutions to positively impact their world and have a ripple effect greater than they can imagine!”


FreelanceHER 100 offers a practical and bespoke support programme, working with specialist partners and networks with unrivalled track records, including Northern Power Women, Natwest, Brabners and GC Angels.


This follows the success of the first cohort of FreelanceHER 100, which supported 104 women who were impacted by the pandemic with starting and growing their businesses.


Anita Frost, a multi-award-winning author with over 16 years of experience in child development has successfully grown her business, Green Bean Studios, into a multi-revenue stream children’s edutainment brand.


“I’m passionate about mentoring females to reach their full potential and grow in confidence, empowering them to achieve their goals and build sustainable businesses which thrive. Through participating in this programme, I aim to enable women to harness their creative individuality and implement meaningful, actionable steps to be successful in their endeavours,” she said.


Award-winning entrepreneur Rachel Ray is known for supporting women in business and founding ethically driven franchise network Bright & Beautiful, taking it from her kitchen table to a £5m turnover and employing over 500 people.


Rachel said: “We all need support and encouragement when we begin our business journey, I know I did, and a mentor can help us to face challenges, gain clarity and build confidence. I am excited to see the next cohort of FreelanceHer become strong leaders and create innovative enterprises that shape the business world.”


Applications for FreelanceHER 100 are now open to women from across the UK working in digital, creative, media and technology sectors and anyone interested can find out more here.


FreelanceHER 100 is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund and supported by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Greater Manchester local authorities. IN4 Group, the operator of HOST, is working with GC Business Growth Hub, part of The Growth Company to provide fully funded business support. The Hub assists businesses at all stages of their growth journey with a broad range of services, including one-to-one and peer-to-peer support, events, specialist programmes and funding.

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