Pictured: Gemma Deane

The rise in business start-ups in Coventry and Warwickshire during the Covid-19 crisis will be recognised during an international celebration of entrepreneurship.

The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce is holding a joint event with Coventry University on Thursday, November 19, as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW).

GEW, which runs from November 16 to November 20, is the biggest global celebration of innovators and entrepreneurs with events taking place all over the world.

The Chamber event with Coventry University will hear from Keely Hancox, Operations Manager at the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, on the rising number of individuals who have opted to start a business since the pandemic struck.

It will also hear from Alejandro Perez-Llabata, of IUDRO – a university drone racing business – which was established with incubator support from Coventry University, and from Aaron Ashmore, founder of pin-badge business Etch & Pin.

Gemma Deane, of Floating Lotus – a Rugby-based business selling reusable sanitary pads, which has been supported by the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce via the CW Business: Start, Grow and Scale Programme, part funded by the European Regional Development Fund, Warwickshire County Council and the district & borough councils, will also be speaking.

She will talk about her story from having the initial idea for the environmentally friendly product and turning it into a potentially game-changing business when it comes to pollution.

Keely said: “We are really looking forward to putting on this event in partnership with Coventry University and it’s only right that we celebrate our local entrepreneurs and business start-ups.

“This region has always performed well when it comes to starting businesses and, through the support we offer at the Chamber, we’ve seen a marked increase in the number of people looking to set-up during lockdown.

“There are a couple of major reasons for that which we will explore in more detail. The first, of course, is that many people have found themselves unexpectedly unemployed. Many posts that would have been safe back in February have suddenly become redundant because of the economic fall-out of Covid-19.

“Secondly, we’ve seen individuals have more time on their hands during lockdown and they’ve taken that time to decide to pursue their dream of self-employment. We sometimes see a pick-up in enquiries for start-up support just after Christmas for the very reason that people have had time to think. Over the past six months, that time has been multiplied many times over.

“This event will be a great opportunity to find out a bit more about the support on offer and also hear from local entrepreneurs to find out how they’ve gone about establishing their own business and some of the challenges involved with that.”

The event will take place from 9.30am until 10.30am on November 19.