Inspire, Challenge, Excel Programme Announced

Article by Alice Heggie

On the 21st April, at the Annual Innovation, Creativity and Enterprise (ICE) Showcase, Carole Barron, Director of Innovation & Enterprise at the University of Kent, announced that a new programme to support women in business will be launched this September.

The Inspire, Challenge, Excel Programme (ICEP) came about in response to feedback following the Women in Enterprise Conference, hosted by Kent Innovation and Enterprise in 2015. The Director of Innovation and Enterprise was asked to establish a formal support programme that would bring together students, staff and women in business and enthuse them to take positive actions to develop themselves and others.

At The ICE Showcase, The Inspire, Challenge, Excel Programme was announced and delegates at the event had the opportunity to attend a session to find out more about the programme and make their own suggestions on what they would like the programme to look like. The session was filled with positive discussion and excitement about the proposed programme, and themes around what hold women back, that many women will be able to relate to,  emerged:

  • Lack of confidence
  • Fear of failure
  • Work-life balance
  • Parental guilt
  • Imposter Syndrome
  • Social conditioning & socialisation

The programme aims to tackle these perceived barriers to success, and more, in creative and innovative ways while constantly evolving to respond to the needs of its members. It will create opportunities for women from all walks of life to try something new, influence others to go beyond their comfort zone and work together to effect change and will work in partnership with established professional bodies and organisations to provide as wide a support programme as possible.

The new programme will be formally launched on 22nd September by the University’s incoming Vice-Chancellor, Professor Karen Cox, and will feature a high profile internationally renowned speaker. The launch event is open to all who are interested in the programme.

The programme welcomes members from the business and student communities as well as university staff and if you would like to find out more about how you can get involved please get in contact with us today by emailing