7 lessons in success for female founders


Key takeaways from female founders, including finding the right support, tackling imposter syndrome, improving access to funding, and much more

Don’t let Covid widen the startup gender gap

Female founders continue to create and run some of the UK’s most innovative and successful startups. Yet there remains a distinct gap in the advantages afforded to female founders and entrepreneurs compared with their male counterparts - and Covid-19 threatens to widen that gap.

Read what progress is being made for female-led firms on investment and support, as well as what steps need to be taken.

Tackle the causes of imposter syndrome

Imposter syndrome is the feeling that you don’t deserve to be where you are and lack the skills and experience to succeed. It can undermine the success or confidence of women in business and tackling it means being kind to yourself while also training investors to ensure they treat female founders equally and without discrimination.

Lizzy Hodcroft, co-founder of myndr, shares more insights on why women may not value themselves highly enough and what can be done about it in a short video.

Age doesn’t matter

Some founders struggle with confidence when starting out if they are in an older age bracket. More than 10 years ago, at the age of 50, Julie Robinson left teaching to start Move it or Lose it, which has grown into a national network of instructors delivering exercise classes to thousands of older people every week.

Watch this short video where Julie discusses dealing with the challenges of confidence and self-perception as a female founder.

Just go for it

Women may be more risk-averse than men, so it’s important to have confidence, believe in your ideas and surround yourself with people who trust your judgment, says Mandy Powell, co-founder of The Goodwash Company and ex-Welsh international hockey player.

Watch the full video interview for more from Mandy on why having a female co-founder is beneficial.

Get creative in lockdown

Following the disruption caused by the 2008 financial crash, many innovative businesses emerged — from Airbnb to Uber. And with more people stuck at home due to the pandemic, now is the time for women to develop their startup, says Mark Dowds, Managing Director at Anthemis Group.

In this video Mark says all women with a great idea should power through and use this downtime to get creative.

Don’t think about failure

The risk of failure should not stop you from launching a startup, says Cathy Craig, CEO of INCISIV. When you launch a startup, you’ll progress, you’ll change, you’ll learn new skills, meet new people—all of which is personal development, so there’s nothing to lose.

In this video interview, Cathy explains her journey from academic to CEO.

Improve access to funding

The statistics clearly show that women are not being given the right sort of access to funding. Initiatives such as the Female Innovators Lab in New York are helping address the balance.

Mariquit Corcoran, Head of Barclays Ventures US, explains how Barclays is supporting female staff and helping women founders grow their businesses.

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