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Women-owned businesses on the increase

WITH women start-up businesses growing by 38% in recent years*, there is no reason why women should not set up their own companies according to an entrepreneur who is celebrating her third year in business.

Gill Sweeney previously owned a pharmacy and had strong competition from a nearby Plc. However, providing customers with a personal service meant that the pharmacy’s turnover increased by a factor of six.
The increase in business proved too much for the nearby competitor who subsequently relocated.

After 20 years in retail pharmacy, Gill decided to take on a new challenge. Finding a niche in the market for the manufacturing of elasticated tubular bandage, Gill researched potential pit-falls and market needs.

During her pharmacy years, Gill witnessed the disappearance of many pharmaceutical businesses and the amalgamation of small companies. By developing a new brand of elasticated tubular bandage, Gill has been able to offer a unique individual approach providing a level of service that is not always inherent within larger establishments.

The small ‘close-knit’ company provides added choice within the bandage market. This inspiration to stand out from other businesses has been welcomed by many and after years of research Gill’s company Easigrip Ltd. supplies a high quality bandage.

With over a fifth of small business collapsing within the first year of business, it is highly significant that Gill has had remarkable success - with her product being exported to six overseas countries over a three-year period.

Seeing the product on pharmacy shelves and being able to view entries for Easigrip on computer software systems abroad is certainly rewarding for the entrepreneur - who believes her change in career was certainly worthwhile.

“Changing career path from a position I was trained for into an environment that I had little knowledge about was undoubtedly a risk. However, many companies offer advice on starting new businesses and I have benefited from various initiatives.”

“There are many on-line companies who provide impartial advice for women entrepreneurs. Web-sites such as www.busygirl.co.uk support development offering a range of services and I believe starting a new business is a challenge that can be very rewarding,” explains entrepreneur Gill.

According to NatWest figures, women who start-up businesses feel a greater sense of fulfilment and a higher level of satisfaction than their male counterparts. And, women are less likely to be involved with limited companies, but more likely to start a partnership business than male entrepreneurs.

Women interested in starting up their own business can contact Small Business Services on 0207 215 5363.


1. * Survey by NOP on behalf of NatWest bank.
2. Trade Partners UK has helped Easigrip export, providing a range of international contacts.

If you would like to feature Easigrip Ltd in a forthcoming publication or would like to use entrepreneur Gill Sweeney as a case study please contact Paul Sweeney on 01926 497108 or email press@easigrip.co.uk

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