Well Street sisters are doin' it for themselves
Women will be taking over Well Street Market for the first market of 2018 on Saturday 3 March to coincide with International Women’s Day and to help celebrate the centenary of women getting the right to vote.
From street food to vintage clothes and freshly baked bread, stalls on the day will be run entirely by women led business and female entrepreneurs, there will also be live music and arts and crafts to help entertain visitors.
Market trader Alison Dunn who runs the Jiggery Pokery Ice Cream Parlour out of a 1950s style trailer decided to start her own business after finding it difficult to find work as a single mum, she said; “Running a family is easily as hard as running a business. You can choose something you are going to enjoy that fits in with you, that is the greatest benefit of being your own boss. It is important for young women to realise that we live in a world full of opportunity especially here in Britain in 2018. We have to celebrate women entrepreneurs because far too many women believe they are not capable of taking control of their own destiny.”
The traders are keen to help young women smash glass ceilings and want to see more female led startups. In Hackney, 99 per cent of the borough’s businesses are small to medium enterprises. National data shows only around 20 per cent of these are run by women, for start-ups this is even less with women making up only 6 per cent of new start-up business owners. The traders of Well Street want to change that, and are starting by hosting a female focus take over to launch Well Street for the year ahead.
Jo Price, owner of A G Price Florist, a family-run business that has been in Well Street for more than 60 years, said: “Events like this are key to helping the next generation of young women to see that it's possible to set up and become a local female led business.”
Emma Matthews, born and brought up in Hackney, and who owns and runs Hair Lounge in Well Street agrees. "I'd like to see the next generation of entrepreneurs inspired by events like this. We are keen to help more women to set up in business and pass on our knowledge to them."
This is the first time women have had a takeover day at a market in the UK, markets are more than just places to shop but are also hearts of the local communities they sit in. They are also places to meet, socialise and even help affect political change, such as in the most famous female run market, the 500 year old ‘mothers market’ in India which as well as helping female empowerment has also been a centre for demonstrations and protests on various social issues.
Well Street is London's most innovative market, it is exciting that the Traders Alliance is at the forefront of encouraging more young women into thinking about business ownership, and celebrating the local female entrepreneurs that already contribute massively to the local economy and their local communities. I would encourage all residents to come along, shop local, get involved and help celebrate Hackney's women.
The Council is working with it’s community partner the Well Street Traders Alliance to host the event, part of the borough’s year-long celebrations of the achievements of local women, past and present, and the contribution they make to our communities. Find out more on the Hackney Women page.
Well Street market runs from 10am to 4pm on the first Saturday of every month. The street is also home to an eclectic mix of shops, cafes, bars, restaurants and independent pubs. Follow the Market on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for regular updates you can also visit their website www.wellstreet.market.