Kate Houlden

Managing director, Like Technologies

Like is a national provider of

bespoke industrial electronics and software solutions. Kate joined the company as managing director, following a career in technology, in late 2015. Throughout the Covid-19 crisis, Kate has successfully steered the company away from furloughing staff while meeting all of its commercial, community and environmental goals for the year. To address Lancaster’s electronics skills gap, Kate and Like collaborate with  Lancaster consortium’s Electronics Skills Programme, the only industry-led course in the UK government’s pilot for the national roll out of Skills Bootcamps.

Kate Shane

Head of Merlin Entertainments’ Blackpool cluster

As head of the Blackpool cluster

of Merlin Entertainments, Kate’s remit includes attractions such as Blackpool Tower, Circus and Ballroom, Madame Tussauds, Sea Life and the Dungeons. The cluster employs up to 350 local people. Kate also has additional roles in the resort: she is a member of the board at Blackpool & Fylde College, a non-executive director for Blackpool Transport, is on the board of the Blackpool Pride of Place initiative, and is also on the steering group for LeftCoast, part of the ACE Creative People and Places initiative.

Nicola Merritt

Founder and CEO, Origin Advisory Group

Drawing on experience as

a transaction services partner at DSW and a director at KPMG, during which she personally advised on more than 150 M&A  Origin Advisory Group in November 2020. In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, she has brought together a respected leadership team and has grown the full team to eight with ambitious plans to take that number to 25 over the next two years.

My View


by Amy Lancaster-Hall Porsche Centre Preston

We were proud to support last year’s Lancashire Business View Women in Business event. This year, after such an uncertain time for many in Lancashire, it feels even more important for us to play our part.

We’re fortunate: Lancashire is blessed with a thriving community of women in business. When I was just starting out, it was this community and other women’s achievements that helped to inspire me.

It’s important that the rising stars of today can count on the same support too. Simply being part of events like Lancashire Business View’s Women in Business can make a difference.

The places we work can foster a culture of collaboration too. Porsche runs a Women’s Network for around 600 women.

Through the network, women support each other and seek women’s points of view in all the processes at Porsche.

The truth is, when we collaborate, we can achieve even more.

That’s why it’s so important that we celebrate the next generation of the  all, they will have an important role to play 

We’re looking forward to sharing advice and stories. Because together, I know, we can continue to change the county’s future prosperity for the better.

Amy is group marketing manager for Bowker Motor Group’s prestige franchises of Porsche, BMW, BMW Motorrad, MINI, plus Bowker Ribble Valley


Cunliffe Founder, Red Star Wealth

Kristen has worked  services profession

since 1998, qualifying in 2001. She launched Red Star Wealth in April 2011 and, more recently, Red Star Education which aims to educate young people about managing their money. This has led to a specialism in working with young footballers and Premier League academies discussing how to handle the wealth that fame brings. Kristen used lockdown to write a book sharing tips and  education which will last for life.

Abbie & Sophie

Schofield Founders, Ribble Valley Bathrooms

Sisters Abbie and Sophie founded

luxury design studio and showroom Ribble Valley Bathrooms in 2018, opening their 3,000 sq ft showroom in early 2019. The pair turned the Covid-19 lockdown to their advantage, tapping into demand for home upgrades and harnessing ecommerce to increase sales by 320 per cent in their third year.

Rebecca Kane & Emmie

Brookman Owners, Silver Mushroom

Rebecca started Silver Mushroom in 2011, selling a selection of carefully chosen kitchen and homeware items online from an operation based in her bedroom. Younger sister Emmie joined in 2014 and the company  to more than 30. Most are charged with sorting and packaging orders to customers around the globe. That rapid expansion has led to the sisters taking out a new lease on a larger warehouse and plans to reach £2m turnover in the next 12 months.




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