Two entrepreneurial women from Sussex have earned a place in the prestigious list of the top 100 most inspirational female entrepreneurs of 2024. Pippa Moyle, the visionary behind City Girl Network, and Lyndsey Clay, the driving force behind Connected Brighton, established their respective enterprises in Brighton with the shared goal of fostering greater social bonds within the city. Today, they proudly stand among the honorees of the f:entrepreneur 100 initiative, a program organized by Small Business Britain, which commends the remarkable growth of female entrepreneurship that has flourished since 2017.
Pippa Moyle, 31, started the City Girl Network in 2016 with the local community, Brighton Girl, to help women find friends and feel more connected to the city. The success of Brighton Girl spread across the UK and the City Girl Network now has 18 communities with over 120,000 members across the country. They also have over 35,000 members in Sussex, with Brighton Girl, Worthing Girl and Rural Sussex Girl.
Lyndsey Clay, 44, started Connected Brighton during the April 2021 lockdown, with the mission of connecting people to businesses and businesses to people. In less than three years, Lyndsey has connected thousands of people and supported hundreds of businesses through Connected Brighton’s events. She has recently turned the business into a franchise to spread their mission nationally. She is also the host of the Brighton Business Show on Radio Reverb, the winner of the RWC Entrepreneur of the Year 2022, and was a finalist in the Dynamic Business Awards Community Hero category.
Lyndsey, who lives in Brighton, said: “I’m so grateful to have made the cut. I don’t think I’ve been able to properly process it. Even with time to digest it, it hasn’t felt real. My business isn’t even 3 years old, there’s been so much adversity to overcome and I’ve had moments where I’ve wondered if I’m doing the right thing, if this is going to work out or if I’m mad for even trying. To be recognised for that feels incredible.”
The recognition of both women on this prestigious list highlights a key trend in the importance of social connection for 2024, with Sussex leading the way. Numerous studies have shown the positive impact that social connection has on health and the economy, costing employers £25.6bn a year and increasing the risk of early mortality by 26%. With 49.3% of adults reporting feeling lonely in 2022, businesses like Connected Brighton and the City Girl Network have become more important than ever.
Pippa, who now lives in Haywards Heath, said: “I’ve spent the last 8 years building communities across the country, and couldn’t have done it without the inspirational dedication that Sussex has to building and nourishing communities. It’s an honour to be recognised on this list and I’m excited for the fast-growth that we have ahead of us in 2024.”
Both businesses have teamed up with Together Co, a leading loneliness charity, creating connections to change lives for over 20 years through volunteering, befriending and social prescribing
April Baker, CEO of Together Co, said: “Partnering with City Girl and Connected Brighton has accelerated our mission as both organisations work tirelessly to build social connections across cities by bringing people together. As a younger, female leader myself, I am hugely impressed by Pippa and Lyndsey’s dedication to create inspiring businesses and want to congratulate them both on being recognised for the contribution they are making.”