Made in Manchester ‘resurgence’ expo a success
The more than 30 female business owners at the Made in Manchester Expo on Sunday exhibited much more than products and services, but resilience and creativity, amid the pandemic that contributed to the decline in economy globally.
Created six years ago with the aim to promote and empower female business owners in the parish, the expo has seen over 70 exhibitors at any one staging and has been one of the biggest networking platforms for the women who are able to connect with customers and potential investors.
Though the organisers were forced to revamp the expo for a virtual staging over the last two years, due to COVID-19, and witnessed some decline in the number of exhibitors, founder and coordinator of Made in Manchester Expo, Annette Salmon, said there remains a growing demand for the physical event.
“We really want more persons to know the women who are here, what they are doing, where to find them for products and services and to support them more. I find that women are not necessarily strong at talking about what they do like the men, so as a collective we are showing up with and for each other.”
Spanning several industries, the women, for the seventh staging of the expo hosted on the grounds of Scotiabank, showcased their unique artistry in cake baking and decorating, beauty and wellness, alternative medicine, fashion, décor and healthy treats.
Salmon said there are now plans to target the approximately 5,000 female business owners in their database from the parish.
“We really want to take Made in Manchester to another level because there is a huge potential of capitalising and getting these women to work together, not only to showcase themselves to the rest of Manchester but to provide support, barter, make arrangements to lift ourselves higher as a group.”
Salmon added that the biggest success of the event is seeing women have greater exposure; appealing to and striking deals with exporters and manufacturers who will mass-produce to supply market demand.
“Business like the JBDC (Jamaica Business Development Corporation) has been a strong supporter of small business ... We want to get the women from this collective to tune in more to opportunities that exist, that can help them with their branding, the social media ... . The aim for us now is to connect as many as possible, hence why we need to take this to another level because there is a need for what we do.”