Stoneleigh Park champions female entrepreneurs

Stoneleigh Park champions female entrepreneurs

Stoneleigh Park has a good reason to celebrate International Women’s Day with the number of businesses on the site run by women almost doubling the national average.

Nearly a third of businesses at the science park are owned or managed by women, trumping the national average of 17%.

The park between Coventry and Leamington has a long history as a centre of excellence for the agriculture industry and many of the site’s tenants are from the agri-science sector.

The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board, a statutory levy board funded by farmers, growers and others in the supply chain, is the largest employer on the site.

Its chief executive Jane King said there has been a real shift in the gender balance in the farming industry which is reflected in its leadership.

“We’re seeing more and more women coming into the agricultural and rural industries. For example Cirencester University has had an increase of more than 40% in female students starting its agricultural courses,” she said.

“That’s a sign that this is an industry capturing the imaginations of women from all walks of life not just people from agricultural backgrounds.

“It’s also important that they’re from backgrounds other than agriculture and horticulture, because the sort of challenges the industry is facing are so enormous and that we do need a lot more diversity to be able to exploit the opportunities.

“Women are making a huge difference in this industry – they’re often risk-takers, good communicators, team players and they like leading, decision making and change.”

She added that it was also important that Stoneleigh Park, which has a café, nursery and gym, was an attractive place to work.

“I previously worked in a high-rise block of offices in South London and crikey this is a much more pleasant place to work!” she said.

“Looking out on green space, having good access routes and the exciting plans LaSalle Investment Management has for the site all make this a dynamic place to work.”