A growing number of women are setting up businesses in North Wales.

Among the new generation of female entrepreneurs are two mums, Catherine Hardiman, 51, and Cathy Heavers, 46, from Llanfairfechan, near Conwy who have set up a successful social enterprise, the Your Hwb website and handbook.

The pair met at the school gate in Llanfairfechan where Catherine’s daughter and Cathy’s boys were pupils, both had high level business experience and skills and they hit on the idea for Your Hwb, which promotes enterprises as varied as a campsite, crafts, cafés, counselling and complementary therapy and childminders, all run by women and has now moved out of Llanfairfechan to include neighbouring areas like Penmaenmawr and Dwygyfylchi.

Catherine, who noted that women run almost half the businesses that advertise with them – mirroring a national trend which has seen a 45 per cent increase in female entrepreneurship, said: “Female entrepreneurs are certainly on the increase in North Wales as well as across the rest of the UK which has seen a surge in the number of women starting businesses.

“Men are twice as likely as women to start their own businesses but here in rural Conwy, our evidence is that more and more women are striking out on their own.

“In the UK the proportion of working-age women that went into business rose by 45 per cent between 2013 and 2016 but we reckon 40 per cent of the businesses we feature are female-run.”

Cathy added: “Running Your Hwb has given us real satisfaction and we feel it is also benefiting the local community by putting businesses in touch with each other and putting residents in touch with local businesses they might not have known were there.”

More information on Your Hwb is available by visiting www.yourhwb.com.