Published: January 1, 2020 | Updated: January 1, 2020

Former PR guru and (reputedly) Ab Fab’s Edina inspiration to be conference keynote speaker

Lynne Franks OBE who is the keynote speaker at this year’s Successful Women Conference and Awards Launch.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

Former PR guru Lynne Franks OBE – often credited as the inspiration for the character Edina in the hit TV comedy Absolutely Fabulous – is heading for Dorset.

She’s the keynote speaker for this year’s Successful Women Conference and Awards Launch.

Tickets are now on sale for the event on Thursday March 5 from 9.30am to 4pm.

The conference, run by Gill Donnell MBE, of the Successful Women in Business Network, is in its third year.

It will take place at the George Albert Hotel and Spa, near Dorchester.

Lynne Franks founded the Seed Network 20 years ago.

Conference organiser Gill Donnell (in red) and attendees at the 2019 conference.

Since then she has championed women’s leadership from post-war Bosnia, to rural South African villages and for women in prisons to women in the corporate boardroom.

Gill said:  “We are thrilled that Lynne is joining us in March to celebrate International Women’s Day.

“Alongside her, we will be hearing from local female entrepreneurs on our expert panels and showcasing many Dorset businesses in our Business Expo.

“The 2019 conference brought together over 140 local women (and men) and also launched the 2019 Successful Women Awards.

Winners and sponsors of the 2019 Successful Women Awards.

“This year, we will again have the support of amazing sponsors to allow us to celebrate and showcase the highly talented and successful women who not only run businesses, or work in demanding roles, but also often juggle caring responsibilities at the same time.”

Award sponsors for 2020 are:

  • Cameron Jones Financial Management
  • Fordington Gin
  • HJ Accounts Management
  • Humphries Kirk Solicitors
  • Margo and Mya
  • Perceptions Marketing Solutions
  • The Message Maestro
  • Tracey Rickard Web Design
  • Willow Tree Life Health & Wellbeing.

For more information about the Successful Women Conference, and to purchase early bird tickets before January 7, please visit