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Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Happy Women's Entrepreneurship Day! (Some great sound bites from Women who know)

Until today, I knew nothing about Virgin Start Up http://www.virginstartup.org/ 

To celebrate Women's Entrepreneurship Day, they held a Virgin Start Up Ignition day that I went along to.  It was just fabulous so I thought I'd share some of the key sound bites that I took away with me:

Annabel Karmel http://www.annabelkarmel.com the UK's leading child nutrition expert and best-selling author said that 'Failure leads to success' and suggested that instead of telling someone about your business ideas, try telling them what you are doing and ask them why they think it might fail?' 

When Helen Cammaack - founder of Buyometric and Interests.me was asked about investment in return for equity, she said that in their experience, they didn't need investment, they needed customers so why not think creatively some times about trading customers for equity?



Madeline McQueen founder of Narratively http://www.narratively.co.uk  said:

'Be Magnificent' (and she truly was). 
She said that women are great at building relationships but not so good at 'Asking for the business' 
She stressed the importance of charging your worth and making little closes all the way.  She doesn't teach selling so much anymore, she really teaches 'closing!'

Another inspiring speaker was Sharmadean Reid  http://sharmadeanreid.com  - Founder of WAH Nails.  Beyond all of her amazing successes at 30 years old, she most impressed me with her natural ease and positive attitude. 
She said that she always had the opinion that if her nail business didn’t work, she could ‘do anything’ like opening a hotel in the Caribbean.  Her advice was delightfully simple ‘Just get on with it!’ and how good women are at being able to do just that.  She talked about how at times she just naively just got on with it and didn’t know what she was doing at the time but she does now! 
She also said that she has always thought that if something is not good for her or is causing her tension, she cuts it out of her life. 
When someone asked about what to do when people in your life are saying ‘When are you going to get a real job’ or ‘When is this going to make money’ her simple answer was ‘Don’t listen to them!  Tell them that you believe in the potential of what you are doing and that you are either with me or not with me’
Jacqueline Gold Chief Executive of Ann Summers talked about leadership and focused on three key areas:
1. Courage - the need to step out of your comfort zone
2. Tenacity - how relentlessly focussed and driven you are born out of passion for what you believe in
3. Empowerment and how having the right people on board is critical for the success of the business. 
Check out Jacqueline's ‘WOW’ (Women on Wednesday) Twitter campaign http://www.jacquelinegold.com/profile/wow/ supporting women in business  
#WOW, takes place every Wednesday and is run through Jacqueline’s twitter page. Each week Jacqueline encourages female business owners to tweet her using the #WOW hash tag along with their business name and a short overview of what they do. Jacqueline then picks her three top entries for that week and re-tweets them to her followers (currently over 30,000).  Then the overall winners have lunch with her and receive some amazing mentoring time. 

Some key messages from all were:

Ø  The importance of your branding and how integral it is for a business - Find your story and tell that story!

Ø  Get really clear on who your customer is, the value of your product and remember that value means different things to different customers

Ø  Don’t be crippled by indecision… make decisions and then change them if they don’t work, just get going!

We still have a long way to go for worldwide equality for Women in business but in the UK Women can start up a business tomorrow and every new business that can create employment helps our economy get back on track so there has never been a better time to do it!


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