Skip to content

Intellectual Property: Empower your business

With World Intellectual Property Day 2023 on April 26th celebrating Women in IP, one of Greater Manchester’s inspirational business innovators, Gaynor Thomasson, explains why SMEs need to recognise and protect this valuable asset.


There are many enterprising companies led by women in Greater Manchester – people like Elizabeth Vega OBE at Informed Solutions, Hannah Barlow at Dunsters Farm, and Hilary Asumu at Safehaus UK have all embraced innovation and taken their organisations on to the next level.


Hannah Barlow, Dunsters Farm / Elizabeth Vega OBE, Informed Solutions / Hilary Asumu, Safehaus UK

Gaynor Thomasson, owner and founder of Heelz and Toez, a company that makes customisable children’s shoes, certainly falls into the same category. Having successfully appeared on Dragon’s Den, Gaynor is recognised for her trail-blazing approach to sustainability and innovation in the fashion sector.

Central to this journey was seeing the importance of IP when she developed her shoes and needed to patent them. Gaynor overcame her challenges with the help of GC Business Growth Hub.

“I cannot stress the importance of addressing the subject of intellectual property when embarking on your product development or business journey and especially when seeking investment,” she says.

Gaynor Thomasson on the right with Innovation Advisor Karen Dudley

“GC Business Growth Hub is an excellent place to get support with developing your pitch proposition and maximising the value of your business assets.”
Gaynor Thomasson, owner and founder, Heelz and Toez


The key to turning your assets into a competitive advantage for your business is identifying them, understanding their value and incorporating this into a clear IP strategy that is integrated with your business plan.

It’s important to stress that IP doesn’t just apply to products or technology. It also includes the knowledge, skills and creative expression of ideas that many successful businesses are increasingly built around.

You can be sure your business will own or use some form of IP

Whether you’re currently aware of it or not, you will have lots of valuable IP assets within your business. Even if you’re a novice in this area, you may not be utilising these assets to their full potential, or have risks that you have not mitigated against.

Yvonne Grady, Head of Innovation at GC Business Growth Hub, notes: “More and more businesses are realising the value of their intellectual property and seeing the impact on their bottom line.

“I’d appeal to SMEs in Greater Manchester to make sure you don’t get left behind by your competitors, and get in touch with our IP experts. Through the specialist support that we provide and our connection with the Intellectual Property Office, we help businesses to monetise their assets.”



Yvonne Grady, Head of Innovation at GC Business Growth Hub

“In 2023, we celebrate the ‘can do’ attitude of women inventors, creators and entrepreneurs around the world and their ground-breaking work.
Women in all regions are shaping the world through their imagination, ingenuity and hard work, but often face significant challenges in accessing the knowledge, skills, resources and support they need to thrive.”

World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)

Find out how about the support available to assist you with your IP.

Contact our Innovation team here or email us



Share this post