3rd February 2016

JHPR Wednesday Wonder Woman – Etta Cohen OBE, founder of business networking organisation Forward Ladies

Every Wednesday JHPR spotlight a woman doing amazing things within her business field. As champions of startups and small business owners we will be selecting a wonder woman to profile each week.

64 year Etta Cohen OBE has been a powerful advocate for women in business for over 15 years. Founder of women’s business networking organisation Forward Ladies, Yorkshire based Etta grew Forward Ladies into one of the UK’s fastest-growing business support organisations for women, with a database of more than 13,000. Awarded an OBE for services to women in business and entrepreneurship, Etta has since started Scones Jam and Cream, a resource website dedicated to afternoon tea from around the world.



What is your business?

My first business Forward Ladies supported women across the country. We encouraged women  to start and grow their business through networking, training, speakers, awards and trade missions. After leaving Forward Ladies I set up www.sconesjamandcream.com a website dedicated to everything afternoon tea around the world. Afternoon tea just happens to be my passion.


How long has your business been trading?

www.sconesjamandcream.com is just one year old.


What inspired you to start your business?


I started Forward Ladies over 15 years ago realising that women benefitted from meeting other women. It grew organically to be one of the largest business support organisations for women in the UK. I am delighted it is still thriving today.


I loved running Forward Ladies. It was so rewarding to  be able to meet and work with so many amazing women. I am still involved in the women in business/diversity agenda speaking, training  and mentoring. However, I wanted to keep active and having spent many a pleasant hour enjoying afternoon tea with my children I wanted others to share their experiences and benefit from a site dedicated to afternoon tea.


What has been your greatest business achievement?

My greatest business achievement has been meeting so many wonderful and talented women and to have been  able to support and encourage them on their journey and to help them achieve success whatever that may look like for them. Last year I was awarded an OBE for services to women in business and entrepreneurship. I believe it confirmed the importance of diversity and women to the UK economy.


What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced along your business journey?

In the early days of Forward Ladies we had many challenges, particularly convincing doubters that we were serious and that women have a tremendous contribution to make. Learning about money/cash and its importance was a key lesson too. I learnt so much that it now stands me in good stead with my new business, in particular I am much more savvy when it comes to money!


How is your business contributing to your community or society?

I know Forward Ladies made a tremendous contribution to the economy and to women. We were responsible for so many women achieving their goals, starting a business, trading overseas  and gaining increased self belief.

In my new business I host business women’s afternoon teas as I believe it is so important for women to network and make new  contacts.


Booking the right afternoon tea for the right occasion is also very important!


How has media coverage helped to raise your profile?


I learnt very quickly in both of my businesses the importance of good PR and media coverage. I speak on the radio whenever asked, am always willing to be involved with the press and media. Recently Jay Rayner recommended www.sconesjamandcream.com in his column in the Guardian on line and the Observer magazine. I cannot express the impact  that had on www.sconesjamandcream.com


Best piece of business advice you’ve ever been given?

Be passionate, honest and transparent in your business dealings  whilst keeping a sharp eye on the money! Never stand still and remember the importance of good networking.


Where is your product or service available?

By visiting www.sconesjamandcream.com people can access offers, competitions, write and read reviews, submit blogs and recipes etc etc. They will need a quiet afternoon tea afterwards!


Business website and social media handles.

www.sconesjamandcream.com   @sconesjamcream @ettacohen



If you know a wonder woman that you would like to nominate be sure to send us an email to info@jhpr.co.uk along with her details and why you think she should be celebrated or contact us via our twitter page @JessicaHuiePR.

Don’t forget to hashtag #JHPRWWW !



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