The story of BAWE

With the progress toward a glimmer of equality witnessed through the 21st century, it should be no surprise that the British Association of Women Entrepreneurs exists. It may be deemed extraordinary however that it has been established for over 50 years; adapting to the differing needs of British businesswomen, growing into the influential and highly respected organisation it is today.

The roots of the British Association of Women Entrepreneurs lie in the resourcefulness of women left with businesses to run following the Second World War.

Madame Yvonne Edmond Foinant, the owner of a steel factory, started an association in France in 1946 under the name of ‘Femmes Chefs d’Entreprises’.

Similar groups of active women business owners organised themselves in Belgium and Holland in 1949, and their presidents signed the statutes of the European Association of Women Entrepreneurs in Brussels, on January 15th, 1950.

At the beginning of 1953, Madame Foinant entrusted Tinou Dutry, a young Belgian member who had a London based business with the task of forming the association in the United Kingdom.

British business owners were invited to her Hyde Park Gate’s offices to be informed of the new organisation as a result of which Meiko Orr Ewing and Stella Fisher joined her in Paris for the Congress of European FCE held in September 1953.

The three ‘British’ delegates were received with FCEM privileged members at the Elysee Palace by M Vincent Auriol, then President of the French Republic, a very prestigious debut!

Today the British Association of Women Entrepreneurs is proud to be an official ‘Affiliate’ of Les Femmes Chefs d’Entreprises Mondials (FCEM); one of sixty affiliated countries from five continents.

Working closely with the commercial section of all Embassies, in particular the world’s largest trading country – the United States of America, BAWE represents The World Association FCEM at the United Nations in New York.

The British Association of Women Entrepreneurs is proud to be linked to all Chambers of Commerce through its extensive membership reach.

Members speak and represent British Women Entrepreneurs at conferences all over the world both physically and more so virtually in recent times, as well as participating in training programmes throughout the Third World.

Now 50 years young, BAWE is an established, recognised source of information on entrepreneurship for and about British women business owners.

Ready to apply?

Apply for membership