Gita Patel, founder of Trapezia, will speak at the first meeting of the Entrepreneurs' ClubTHE Association of Women Travel Executives plans to raise its profile as a serious organisation for senior females in the industry with the launch of an Entrepreneurs’ Club.


Women who watched BBC2’s  Dragon’s Den with interest will be treated to an insight into how investors think at the club’s first meeting on October 9.


Business investor Gita Patel, founder of Trapezia, the UK’s first investment product that concentrates on women-focused companies, will speak on how to invest in business.


Trapezia seeks to capitalise on the funding gap for women entrepreneurs who struggle to raise money through more
traditional channels.


The club’s launch is the first of a series of moves to help boost membership numbers of the AWTE, according to vice-chairwoman Tricia Handley.


The AWTE, which has 185 members, was founded in 1954 as a discussion and networking forum for women in management. Handley said: “We are trying to change the culture and adapt to the reality of change and needs in business.


“The change of direction is to boost membership and prove we are not just ladies that lunch. We are a serious association that has changed with the times.”


The club will meet every three months and will invite a select number of members to attend sessions to listen to female entrepreneurs. A maximum of 30 members will be invited to the first session, with numbers likely to be limited to 20 for future sessions.


Handley, managing director of Pinpoint Communications, said: “We will have to agree strict criteria because we cannot open the floodgates and there will be confidential issues discussed.


“We believe our members want exclusive opportunities to meet people they would not normally meet and keep up-to-date on trends outside the industry.”


For more information go to www.awte.org.uk.