A lingerie designer, a compost specialist and a cycle shop owner will be going to France to take part in an international conference next week.

The three will travel as part of a group of 15 business women from across Yorkshire and the Humber to attend an International Women's Day Conference in Paris.

The venture has been organised by UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) and Forward Ladies, a not-for-profit organisation hosted by Yorkshire Forward.

The women will have the chance to explore the French market, swap ideas and contacts and forge closer relationships with women from similar businesses.

Wendy Kipling, 41, the director of Selettivo, a bridal lingerie business in Baildon, said the trip would give her the chance to discuss the French underwear market before her first international exhibition in Lyon later this year.

"I see it as a fantastic opportunity," she said.

Jackie Whiteley, 51, director of Strulch - a special type of gardening mulch concocted by Mrs Whiteley and her husband Geoffrey - is also attending.

She said: "Women network in a different way, I find being in Yorkshire Forward very useful."

Mrs Whiteley said she would be investigating ways of selling Strulch to the French market.

Sandra Corcoran, 54, who co-owns Pennine Cycles in Bradford, said she hoped to talk to French businesswomen to find out how they were coping with the competition of the internet and cheap imports.

Mrs Corcoran, who took over the 60-year-old business six years ago, said: "There's still a lot of business men but not business women, there are some, but it's male dominated in a lot of areas. I'm pleased that there is something like this."

The women will join their French counterparts on Wednesday.

UKTI's Lorraine Ellison, who organised the trip, said: "We hope business will be achieved and that women on both sides of the Channel will learn more about each other."