The first Female Entrepreneur Week is underway, with nearly 1,000 business owners taking part.
Led by London-based entrepreneur and international business coach Nadia Finer, the group were spurred into action by the outdated support for the new wave of female business owners, many of whom are setting up global businesses from their own homes.
Nadia explains: “The business world has changed dramatically in the past few years. More and more female entrepreneurs are using the internet, not just to sell goods, but to run service-based businesses too. This enables them to reach a far larger audience from across the globe – but most of the support out there is outdated and selling an unrealistic dream of what it’s actually like to start a business”.
Take Laura Robinson, who runs her marketing and copywriting business Worditude from a custom-built shed in her garden. Thanks to massive advances in technology, she has set up a membership site, which attracts clients from as far afield as the USA, Australia and Costa Rica.
Laura says: “Increasingly, online marketers are selling a dream lifestyle, without showing what it actually takes to start and grow a business. Being brave enough to set up your own business and having the grit and determination to grow a business is a rare thing. The journey is never straightforward and you may feel like freaking out. It may get messy, but we want to show that’s OK – in fact it’s perfectly normal”.
Nadia and the rest of team behind Female Entrepreneur Week have noticed this trend too.
“It’s so important for us to stick together; to support one another. And yet, it seems we can’t help comparing ourselves to others,” explains Nadia. “It’s not that we’re competing, as many would suggest, it’s more that we feel like we’re not good enough.
“We’re presented with an Instagram friendly image of female entrepreneurship; it’s all flippy hair, cocktails and bikinis. But the truth is far more gritty and real. It’s blood, sweat and tears! That’s why I’ve brought together a team of inspiring, and real-life, normal, yet amazing women who know what it’s like to work their butts off to get results, and who know what it’s like to make it happen against the odds.”
Australian entrepreneur Caroline Wood seconds this: “Working for myself I’ve suffered a lot from ‘comparisonitis’ – comparing myself to people who seem so much more glamourous and put together than me. I am getting much better at realising that is not who I am and not who I need to be to have a successful business.”
Together with Bristol-based entrepreneur Rebecca Miller, Jo Simpson who runs her business from Scotland, and Louise Clarke who works between San Francisco and Newcastle, Nadia, Laura and Caroline launched Female Entrepreneur Week as a celebration of female entrepreneurship.
Participants will be able to access free specialist training and support, all delivered digitally and through a private Facebook group.
Finer continues: “We want to turn the traditional idea of comparison and competition on its head, to celebrate female entrepreneurs, and to create a culture of collaboration and support instead. We hope FEW will become an annual event, allowing female entrepreneurs from across the world to come together, find support and celebrate their achievements.”
About the Author
Becs Miller is a publicity coach working with entrepreneurs to help them boost their business through PR. She is the founder of The Publicity Program, an academy which provides training and media opportunities to entrepreneurs around the world.