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Newbury Optometrist invited to Westminster reception for high-achieving women

Dr Valarie Jerome was invited to the House of Lords in recognition of her contribution to entrepreneurship.

International Women’s Day was memorable for Newbury’s Dr Valarie Jerome, founder of Valarie Jerome Optometrists.

Dr Jerome was among 100 multi-achieving female business owners, championed by Small Business Britain’s ƒ:Entrepreneur #ialso100 campaign, invited to attend a special International Women’s Day reception at the House of Lords.

Dr Valarie Jerome
Dr Valarie Jerome

She said: “Meeting so many inspirational businesswomen who have set up and are running small businesses all over the UK in such a historic place was delightful.

“After two years of so much uncertainty and sacrifice for small business owners, it was refreshing to celebrate coming out the other side of the pandemic with fellow entrepreneurs.”

The women enjoyed afternoon tea and networking in Westminster and meeting their peers, as well as special guest speaker Labour MP Dr Rosena Allin-Khan, who paid tribute to the power of female entrepreneurship.

Dr Jerome was named an ƒ:Entrepreneur #ialso100 in 2021, in recognition of her inspiring journey, which has involved opening up her own independent opticians in late 2019 and representing fellow optometrists from the South East of England on the Association of Optometrists Council.

Delivered by Small Business Britain – the leading champion of small businesses in the UK – f:Entrepreneur campaign was launched in 2017 to highlight the stories of amazing female business owners and to help provide inspiration and role models.

Now in its fifth year, the campaign offers a host of events and networking opportunities to boost skills, capability and confidence.

Michelle Ovens CBE, founder of Small Business Britain and the ƒ:Entrepreneur campaign, said: “To hear the incredible things that these women do, and the impact they are making, not just in their businesses but in their wider communities, is truly inspiring, and underlines that we must do everything we can to support them.”

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