Our Female Entrepreneur Series, brought to you in partnership with HSBC, provides the opportunity to hear directly from successful entrepreneurs who have paved the way forward with their own ventures. Six female founders shared their personal journeys, experiences, insights and lessons learned along the way to start and grow their thriving businesses. As part of the series, we’ve gotten to know the ins and outs of start-up funding, building successful networks, growing businesses at pace and so much more.
All of the masterclasses are available to watch here, alongside the additional masterclasses we held in 2022.
Read on to find out what we learned from the experts.
Start by vision boarding your business idea
When you’re launching a business, your to-do list can seem endless. If you find yourself jumping from product development to preparing pitch decks, then pivoting to market research and building a competitor landscape, but also focusing on marketing and socials – it’s easy to get lost. That’s when it’s time to come back to basics.
“The first step when thinking about funding and scaling is to map out your vision. What sort of business do you want to build and why? It’s imperative to have an honest conversation with yourself first.” – Melissa Butler, Founder & CEO of The Lip Bar
“Lay some good foundations to know what kind of business you want to look back on and feel proud of.” – Pippa Murray, Founder of Pip & Nut
“The first thing for me was mind mapping my business. I asked myself: How would this work? And then literally writing notes. I spent time meeting with technical experts to help me understand how this business could be mapped out. I found it really helpful.” – Jasmine Crowe Houston, Founder & CEO of Goodr
“Nothing burns as bright as a leading light like purpose.” – Pat Law, Founder & CEO of GOODSTUPH
“Brand vision requires a lot of permission, to allow yourself to think wide, zoom out and keep yourself out of boxes.” – Freddie Harrel, Founder & CEO of RadSwan
Think of your customer base as a community
In an age when data has become the world’s most valuable commodity and consumers expect a hyper-personalised experience, think of your customer relationships less as a transaction and more as a connection.
“Building trust with your current community is key to developing your product. Listen and learn from your audience.” – Melissa Butler, Founder & CEO of The Lip Bar
“When you see what bonds you with your community and audience beyond the product that you’re selling, that for me is really rich. It’s very important.” – Freddie Harrel, Founder & CEO of RadSwan
Creativity is queen
All entrepreneurs need to have a bit of savvy to succeed. To stand out against the competition, you’ll need to be scrappy, resourceful and creative.
“When you don’t know the ropes, it allows you to get creative.” – Melissa Butler, Founder & CEO of The Lip Bar
“You can get solutions with money, but you make your money with creativity.” – Pat Law, Founder & CEO of GOODSTUPH
Invest with intelligence
Despite the impressive levels of productivity most young entrepreneurs possess, your time, effort and money is limited – so use your (and your investors’) resources wisely.
“There is no such thing as a perfect product… investing in operations and development will help improve your product as you scale.” – Crystal Pang, Co-Founder & CEO of Pickupp
“Making the ‘why’ for you, the ‘why’ for your investors is key.” – Jasmine Crowe Houston, Founder & CEO of Goodr
Be your own biggest supporter
Explore mentorship, virtual boardrooms and close networks to lift you through the challenges of entrepreneurship, and above all, cultivate a strong belief in yourself.
“You need to be shameless. When you sell something, first of all, you need to believe in it. You need to sell this dream, even though you’re not there yet. You need to just keep telling people why you believe in it. You need to have the confidence in yourself.” – Crystal Pang, Co-Founder & CEO of Pickupp
“Take on the mindset that everything is figure-out-able. Pair that with patience and determination, and you will get there.” – Melissa Butler, Founder & CEO of The Lip Bar
“I went to school on YouTube, I attended webinars. I really put myself out there as someone who was trying to learn.” – Jasmine Crowe Houston, Founder & CEO of Goodr
Sometimes progress is right on the other side of the obstacle
Getting down is just another part of the journey, because progress is never linear. You never know what wonder is waiting for you just beyond the challenge you’re facing.
“It was really by hitting a wall that we progressed. For us, the innovation we needed was not only in the product, but also the experience. So when we hit a wall, we need to think bigger.” – Freddie Harrel, Founder & CEO of RadSwan
“Every ‘no’ you overcome is getting you closer to a ‘yes.’” – Pippa Murray, Founder of Pip & Nut
“Your dreams are often just one decision away from you starting.” – Melissa Butler, Founder & CEO of The Lip Bar
“Failures are more like moments of disappointment. Use them as a point for reflection and learning.” – Pat Law, Founder & CEO of GOODSTUPH
Missed a Masterclass? Not to worry – you can catch up on instalments of our Female Entrepreneur Series, produced in partnership with HSBC.