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Firstclass graduate blazing her trail for womens empowerment

Graduating this week with a First Class Honours in Management Studies and Marketing, Faith is combining the entrepreneurial skills she gained whilst studying at the University of Leicester with her passion for women’s empowerment to create the social enterprise ‘Belles Network.’

Belles Network is a women’s empowerment organisation that celebrates the extraordinary things ordinary women do through engaging social media content and events.

The inspiration behind the enterprise came from her experience trying to make friends at University.

Faith said: “As two students my friend Chelsea (co-founder) and I noticed the lack of fun alternatives to raves and nights out that allowed women to meet other women. So we decided to create fun alternative events with a twist - memorable experiences.

“Our first and only event was ‘Pole Dancing & Mocktails’, held at the incredible Kelechnekoff Studios in London. There is a stigma attached to pole dancing, however our aim was to change this and to show women that pole dancing is a confidence booster and a great form of exercise.

“After our first event we noticed that even though there was a demand for events, our time was better spent elsewhere. There was a bigger problem to tackle. We noticed a rise in the number of creatives and entrepreneurs. However, many women lacked the confidence to step out of their comfort zones and launch their ideas of promote their existing work unapologetically. So we decided to change our focus and move towards establishing a presence online as women’s cheerleaders - someone who believes in their craft just as much or even more than they do.”

As a result, the Belles Network now operates predominantly as a social-media space for spreading positivity and advocating equality.

Alongside running her own social enterprise, Faith is also an ambassador for the 50:50 Parliament campaign.

She said: “The opportunity to become an ambassador came about when I attended the Vote100 event held at the House of Commons. This event celebrated 100 years since women have had the right to vote. During my discussion with the founder Frances Scott, she asked me to become an ambassador for the campaign. I was honoured. The main purpose of my role is to bring new people on board to promote our #AskHerToStand campaign and sign the 50:50 Parliament Petition.

“I am currently in the process of organising an event to promote the campaign, and I wish to start my public speaking career to promote our agenda further.”

In terms of her plans post-graduation, Faith added: “I would like to pursue a career in Fashion Communications, particularly marketing.”

Dr Matthew Allen, Lecturer in the School of Business, said: “I admire her commitment to social justice causes and her pragmatic approach, coupled with immense work ethic, could be an inspiration to us all. Faith is an innovator with a warmth that means everyone feels their day enhanced by her grace.”

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