AIRDRIE business director Annette Bell was among the speakers at a busy event for Lanarkshire women interested in starting up and growing their own enterprises.

The co-founder of painting and decorating firm Bell Group, which is based at Rochsolloch Road, spoke in a question-and-answer session at the “Mind for Business” event early last month.

She shared personal insights into the hard work, challenges and achievements over the 35 years since establishing the firm with husband George and growing it into the UK’s largest privately-owned property maintenance contractor, with 30 branches and 2000 employees.

Annette was joined on the panel by Women’s Enterprise Scotland chair Lynne Cadenhead and Jeanette MacIntyre, managing director of Cumbernauld firm Indeglas.

Participants also heard from executive coach and speaker Kirsty Mac on traits which can hold women back from realising their full potential, and had a presentation on mindfulness and imposter syndrome from Kirsty Paterson of The Awakened Mind.

The event aimed to help attendees develop “motivation and mindset”, as well as gaining expert insights from the area’s top female entrepreneurs.

It was part of a pilot series under the banner of Lanarkshire Women In Business, involving Business Gateway Lanarkshire, North and South Lanarkshire councils, New College Lanarkshire and the Federation of Small Businesses.

Yvonne Weir, who is North Lanarkshire Council’s enterprise manager, said: “The pilot was set up to help explore why women are under-represented in business numbers in Lanarkshire, and it has also been a good ‘temperature check’ to determine the appetite for gender-specific support.

“It’s showing that there is huge potential in the Lanarkshire landscape for encouraging and enabling more women to pursue professional and business growth; and the subject matter of our latest event clearly resonated with female attendees.”

Lanarkshire Women In Business is now on hold due to the Covid-19 restrictions; but interest in attending future events can be registered by emailing [email protected]