Yes You Can £20k Pitching Competition

Yes You Can is a 3-year female enterprise programme delivered by Women in Business throughout Northern Ireland in collaboration with the 11 Local Councils and Invest NI. 

The Yes You Can £20K Pitching Competition returns to support females on their entrepreneurial journey. 

Yes You Can 2020 Finalists:
Congratulations to the Yes You Can Pitching Finalists of 2020 list below (overall winners in bold) and thank you to everyone who applied! 
This year we were very excited to announce that as recognition for everyone’s hard work, the 30 runners up will be offered a free place on one of our incredible upcoming Women in Business Digital programmes thanks to our partnership with Ulster Bank ‘Back Her Business’. 
Lisburn & Castlereagh and Ards & North Down Finalists:
  • Hilary Cullen- Esteem Kids Yoga 
  • Jenny Gregg- Crafted Equestrian 
  • Mary- Louise Fellowes - LOOLYN
  • Glenda Burns- Breathe NI 
  • Clare Caughey- Sensations Nest 
  • Clare Taylor-  Kinekt Mobility Strength & Performance  
Armagh, Banbridge & Craigavon and Newry, Mourne & Down Finalists:
  • Catherine Deegan- Doc Elite Ltd
  • Oonagh McAlinden- SweetPea Nails
  • Gail Walker- The Big White Coach Ltd
  • Jacqueline Rooney- Jacqueline Rooney Art
  • Jude & Lyndsey - LJ Youth Media
  • Kelly Hamilton- Kelly Hamilton Intregrative Life and Executive Coach

Derry & Strabane and Causeway Coast & Glens Finalists:

  • Victoria Keys- Belle & Basil Skincare
  • Emily McCorkell- LO & SLO
  • Pearl Linnegan- Aurora
  • Sharron McCormick- With Love Recipes 
  • Laura McIlveen- Laura McIlveen Photography
  • Olivia Burns- Olivia's Haven

Mid Ulster and Fermanagh & Omagh Finalists:

  • Amanda Donnelly- Dyslexia Consultant NI
  • Jessica Rodgers- Maud
  • Eve Beattie- The Hive
  • Sinead Welsh- Informed Minds Training & Consultancy
  • Kelly Hempton- Soul Girls Adventure
  • Judith Baird- Employmint 

Antrim & Newtownabbey and Mid &East Antrim Finalists:

  • Claire Colvin- Simple Scaling
  • Kathryn Mills- StrongHold Gymnastics & Fitness Limited
  • Ellie Francis- Nepturnal Ltd
  • Maeve Ferguson- Maeve Ferguson Ltd
  • Rachel McKee- Not stated
  • Sinéad Campbell- The Art and Design Factory

Belfast Finalists:

  • Natalie Sloan- Challenge Training Studios
  • Vicky Blades- Generally Speaking
  • Laura Shuttleworth- The Happy Bear Company
  • Michelle Connolly- LearningMole 
  • Melanie Harrison- The Harrison
  • Stephanie Heckman- Stéphanie Heckman

Who is the Yes You Can Pitching Competition for?

  • Females who have an innovative idea
  • Females at an idea stage and ready to launch a new business
  • Female business owners already trading (under 2 years)
  • If you applied last year and didn't get through try again this year. After-all 'whats the best that could happen...'

What is it? 

  1. The Yes You Can Pitching competition provides female entrepreneurs with a platform to pitch their business idea.
  2. Virtual regional heats took place w/c 3rdMay across Northern Ireland. 
  3. 36 finalists from will then be announced  from the following 6 regions and invited to purchase a ticket for the Female Entrepreneur Conference in June; Belfast, Derry City & Strabane District Council and Causeway Coast & Glens Borough Council, Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council and Ards & North Down Borough Council, Antrim & Newtownabbey Borough Council and Mid & East Antrim Borough Council, Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council & Newry, Mourne & Down District Council, Fermanagh & Omagh District Council and Mid Ulster District Council 
  4. 6 Regional winners will be announced at the Women in Business Female Entrepreneur Conference in June 2021.
  5. 6 regional winners will win £3,000 and will have an opportunity to pitch for a further £2,000 at the conference. One overall winner will be awarded £5,000. 

When is it?

  1. The regional winners stated above will be invited to pitch in June 2021
  2. Pitching applications for 2021 will re-open in March 2021

Hear what some of our previous winners had to say... 

Carol Rossborough, CEO & Co-founder of Esther  was a regional runner up who won £3,000.
"Pitch practice is always good, you should definitely apply to pitch for the experience AND to get feedback on your business, but winning the £3k was a major bonus! It gave us so much validation of our product and allowed us extra budget for our platform build. Thank you Women in Business!"

Sarah McAnallen, Founder and CEO of McAnallen was our overall winner who won £5,000. 
"I was so nervous and unsure, but the vibe and the energy is so positive, everyone is cheering you on...everyone wants to see everyone else doing better and its an amazing environment to pitch in."

Sarah McAnallen explains how Women in Business NI and Yes You Can has impacted her business.

How to apply? 

Don't let anything stop you, let us support you to make your dreams come true and say YES YOU CAN!

**Please read the below YYC Pitching Competition guidelines before applying** 

Yes You Can Pitching Competition Guidelines

Applications are closed for the YYC Pitching Competition. Stay tuned to find out when applications re-open March 2021!