Posted: Tue 10th Mar 2020
Over 100 women attended the launch of Enterprise Nation's newest campaign She's Got This, proving there is not a lack of ability or ambition amongst women. Yet only one in three UK entrepreneurs are female, a gender gap equivalent to 1.1 million missing businesses, according to the recent Alison Rose Review.
She's Got This aims to address some of the key issues stopping women from starting a business from imposter syndrome and relatable role-models to finding funding.
The speakers on the day shared their advice on how they have overcome these challenges and why nothing should stop other women from pursuing their goals. Here's some of their top tips.
How do you overcome imposter syndrome?
Imposter syndrome affects everyone at some point, particularly high achieving women. The Review found that 60% of women who thought about starting a business didn't because they didn't feel ready or that they didn't have the skills, and 28% of women have said they've experienced imposter syndrome.
"I'm naturally an introvert. You can't underestimate the power of practice. Also, surrounding yourself by supportive people," she said.
"The first blocker is that feeling, can I do this and how?"
Kim recommended skipping the "how".
"First, you need to know what the vision is and what you want this business to do in the wider world. Having this will help motivate you to go for it."
They say that getting started is the hardest part. But as Pip Murray, founder of Pip & Nut, explains: "Once you start you will enter into a positive loop. You'll start getting feedback, which will encourage you to keep going. When you're just conceptualising your business, you won't get that."
She also recommends getting a mentor. "Find a mentor who is one step further along so they can guide you. Everybody has neurosis and with a coach, you can start niggling those out."
Scarlett V Clark, founder of Smart Girl Tribe, started her business from a university library. She believes the system is the problem. She looked at what the media is presenting to young women and felt they deserved better. She thought "someone needed to do something about it" until finally deciding; "why can't that person be me?"
"18 months ago, I said, 'Someday I will start a podcast. Someday I will write a book.' It's always someday. Stop saying 'someday'. It's ingrained in us to question 'can I do this,' and the answer is, 'absolutely yes!'"
Watch Scarlett's interview from our She's Got This campaign below.
What advice would you give female founders trying to raise money?
For any new founder, understanding how to fund your business can be daunting.
"Look at your funding journey as a journey," explained Pip. "You can raise in rounds and fund the next part of the journey. It takes a lot longer to raise funds than you think. Give yourself time. It's like going through a long-term relationship."
Pip started her business with a £10,000 start-up loan which allowed her to produce her product and get it out in the market. She then did a small crowdfunding round to raise £100,000 before pitching for angel investment.
"Think about presenting to an investor after you've had a big success. But also, don't take money quickly - make sure it's right," she said.
For more advice on raising money for your business, watch the She's Got This masterclass with Catherine Douglas, business banking director at TSB.
How important are relatable role models?
The She's Got This speakers were unanimous in their support for finding role models and building your network. It's been said that we copy what we see, not what we hear. But how do you do find your tribe?
"We're surrounded by role models, you just need to ask for support," explained Scarlett. "When I started out, I didn't have a mentor. Because of this, I wrote a list of inspiring business leaders and worked backwards through their journey to see how I could do this too."
Read Enterprise Nation's guide on how to build your network from scratch.
What advice would you give to someone that feels apprehensive about starting up?
"Start now. You'll learn from the experience. Surround yourself with mentors and believe in yourself." said Sarah.
Kim encouraged other women to overcome their imposter syndrome and watch her She's Got This masterclass on just how to do this.
She also responded to a question about how to overcome "a funk": "When you're in a funk, change your mindset by getting out of the space or reframing. Change your physiology by moving your body. You will feel better."
"Ignore the naysayers," said Scarlett. "Nobody can decide how big your dream can be. Times it by 10."
Similarly, Pip encouraged others not to be ashamed to think big.
"Don't be afraid to say you want to be a multi-million-pound business. The bigger your brand the bigger the impact you'll have. But also, don't be afraid to start small. I didn't want to be a market stall brand, I wanted to get into supermarkets."
Check out more videos, advice and role models that are part of Enterprise Nation's She's Got This campaign.