Yes You Can – £20k Pitching Fund Competition From Women In Business NI

Guidelines for Pitchers:


The Pitching competition is open to female owned businesses – prestart, start up, trading and growth.

The Regions:

1. Belfast City Council
2. Derry City & Strabane District Council and Causeway Coast & Glens Borough Council
3. Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council and Ards & North Down Borough Council
4. Antrim & Newtownabbey Borough Council and Mid & East Antrim Borough Council
5. Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council & Newry, Mourne & Down District Council
6. Fermanagh & Omagh District Council and Mid Ulster District Council

Venues & timings will be confirmed at time of shortlisting.

The Pitch:

The competition will be in two stages:

Stage 1 – Regional Pitching

• Download and submit your application form from the Women in Business website or your local council’s website. Applications must be received by Friday 8th February 2019.
• Based on the applications, a max of 12 Pitchers will be invited to compete in the regional pitching competition on Friday 22nd February 2019.
• The initial regional pitch will take place with a panel of judges, all pitchers will be allocated a specific time to pitch – there will be no spectators.
• The pitch will last no longer than 2 minutes with a maximum of 3 minutes for questions. The panel will be kept strictly to this time schedule. An alarm will ring after 2 minutes and again after 3 minutes to signal the end of your time.
• You will not be able to bring a presentation (there is no time for set up), but you may use any hand props……e.g. sample product, marketing materials, leaflet, a picture on an iPad. You may wish to hand things out as you enter the room.
• Any time used in organising props will be part of your total of 5 minutes! You may bring notes or a copy of your pitch if you prefer to read it.
• The judges will have background information on your business (the application form that you completed). Do not assume they will remember detail about your business as they will not have time on the day to look over your form.
• The judges will score each pitch and the cumulative score will be added. The finalists will be announced on the Monday 25th February 2019 with the regional winner announced at the Annual Female Entrepreneurs Conference in Galgorm Resort and Spa on 8th March 2019.

Stage 2 – Pitching Awards

• Finalists will be required to attend the conference, tickets can be purchased from The conference will bring together entrepreneurial speakers, masterclasses and workshops.
• The 6 regional winners will be announced at the Women in Business Annual Female Entrepreneurship Conference sponsored by Yes You Can. The conference will be held on International Women’s Day on Friday 8th March 2019 in Galgorm Resort and Spa.
• Winners will each be awarded £3k as the Yes You Can Pitching Competition regional winners.
• The winners will be required to deliver their winning pitch at the Conference, the best pitch on the day will win a further £2k

Further information:

The Pitching Competition is part of a new 3-year female enterprise programme, Yes You Can, which is a collaboration between the 11 Local Councils, Invest NI and Women in Business. Women in Business are delivering the programme. If you are not successful at the regional pitching stage, there will be further opportunities to gain support throughout the region by registering/ applying to take part in other activities to be held Northern Ireland wide including:

• Imagine It – a one day bootcamp for women at the pre-start stage who have an idea, see an opportunity or want to explore career options. Imagine It aims to motivate and support participants to take the next steps. Imagine it will be delivered in all council areas.
• Explore it – an initiative which targets women who have not started trading. Explore it will support participants through 3 one day workshops and 3 months buddy support from an experienced female entrepreneur. The initiative will help participants to turn their idea into reality and will be delivered Northern Ireland wide.
• Sell it – a 2 day residential to inspire women already trading, to encourage growth, ambition, diversification and scalability of their business. The two-day events will take place twice per year in 2 different locations.
• Local Female Networks – the networking events will be delivered Northern Ireland wide and are aimed at all female entrepreneurs from those who haven’t started trading, to those who want to grow their business. Those attending will be motivated by keynote speakers and will benefit from facilitated networking with like-minded women.
• The Female Enterprise Conference and Pitching Competition – The Annual Female Enterprise Conference will be held in March 2020 and 2021.

Full details of all support are available from the Women in Business website and your local council website.