Five inspiring female-founded UK businesses in the North

More businesses than ever are female-founded in the North of the UK than ever before, with 14,885 companies being established in the last year alone. This growth of female-led businesses has been an inspiring success story over the last few years, inspiring other women to follow the route of entrepreneurship.

Today, we shine a spotlight on five innovative and inspiring female-founded UK businesses in the North.


Mother and daughter duo Julie and Vicky Wilson started Settld in 2020 as a result of a personal experience of loss. This SaaS platform uses an innovative approach to assist those having to sort out affairs after a death. Using a single online channel, Settld automates cross-industry death notifications and offers end-to-end death administration management services, taking care of the entire process so the consumer doesn’t have to.

What makes Settld stand out in the industry is having consumers build an emotional connection with the company, as Julie and Vicky’s story is there for anyone to read and resonate with, both on the website and features in media outlets such as Business Live, Metro, UK Tech News and Prolific North.

The Handbag Clinic

Charlotte Staerck founded The Handbag Clinic in 2013 with her husband Ben as a spin-off from the leather repair business Ben and his father ran. This company has become the number one expert in handbag restoration and repairs in the UK, having been featured in the Daily Mail and on Sky TV within the first year.

The simple “buy, sell, restore” mantra aligns with the rising trend of sustainability that consumers have become accustomed to. Instead of consumers spending money on bags they will throw away, The Handbag Clinic changes this by allowing consumers to send in or sell their designer handbags for the company to restore and re-sell. Since establishing in 2013, The Handbag Clinic is now restoring over 700 luxury handbags a month and have restored £40m worth of handbags.


Isabella West created Hirestreet with the commitment to make style and sustainability accessible for all women. This platform is for consumers to rent premium branded clothes for any occasion at an affordable price. West believes that fashion is for everyone and no one should have to compromise on confidence or anything to feel beautiful.

What stands out with Hirestreet is its community that is built by women who are fashion, money and environmentally conscious. to build a community of empowered individuals, celebrating inclusivity, creativity and care for our planet. This innovative approach has been recognised as Hirestreet has been featured in Vogue, The Times and ITV News.

YANA Active

Sisters Charlotte & Sophie Wilson created this independent, luxury women’s activewear brand to design and manufacture unique activewear pieces across the UK. In addition to selling activewear, YANA Active empowers its community and enhance the concept that the pieces offered are multi-functional, having sustainability be at the heart of everything.

This sense of community can be seen as YANA Active continue to support women from providing sponsorship for local girls’ sports teams to partnering up with women’s charities in the UK, empowering women.


Samantha Palmer created Payl8r as a way to have a flexible, convenient and modern method of paying for goods and services online and in-store. Like the motto featured across the platform “Be more. See more. Do more” states, consumers are able to shop from thousands of partner stores across a variety of sectors and pay back within 30 days or spread it over a set amount of months with 0% interest.

Unlike its competitors, all of the products and services available are FCA approved. With the cost-of-living crisis and people having to cut down on spending, this innovative platform entices consumers as they are able to purchase items that they want but not having to pay right away but over installments instead.

If you’re a female-founded brand wanting to promote your business and make a change, get in touch today to see how our team of experts can help you achieve your goals.

Get in touch with the team