The rise of the female entrepreneur

I was asked to be on the Kent Business Radio Show this week to talk about the rise of the female entrepreneur both as a business woman and as FSB Kent & Medway Champion for women in business.

You may think that being on the radio is an easy task and that since no one is seeing you paying attention to what you wear and to your brand is less important. Your personal brand is always important. It is about consistency and maintaining your reputation, that coupled with the ‘studio’ photo meant I of course gave due consideration to my attire. Pretty glad I did too and didn’t rock up straight from dog walking since I was in the company of some very important female guests.

The other guest in the studio invited to speak about being a successful female entrepreneur was Emma of and on the phone was Andrea Childs of who won the Theo Paphitis twitter hour #SBS Small Business Sunday and Rachel Saka of who won twitter hour #britishbizparty.

It was just great to be in the company of so many successful women not to mention the awesome Jules Serkin, co-host of the Business Bunker show. It made for really inspirational conversation about inspiring women to return to work and to maybe start their own business.

The show was excellent and I would encourage anyone running their own business to be interviewed by the show. Paul Andrews and Jules Serkin immediately put you at ease, they are very professional but very relaxed and so very welcoming. It is a wonderful opportunity to talk business with fellow entrepreneurs and to enjoy audience engagement on your topic via social media.

So I got to do what I love best and that is talk! It was a great discussion covering some of the reasons why women are reluctant to start their own business:

  • Fear of Failure
  • Access to Finance
  • Affordable child care
  • Networking & business support during school hours

We discussed how networking for women can be perceived as intimidating. The FSB are trying to change that, both by organising a few ladies only events but also encouraging female led businesses to attend more networking and social activities. Speaking from personal experience over the last year, networking has definitely become more relationship based with more women generally, attending county wide events and meetings.

We mentioned the Childcare Payments Bill which comes into effect in September 2015 where parents including those in self-employment can claim up to £2000 per child, tax allowance for child care.

The discussion was centred on attracting more women into business. The Women’s Business Council reported in 2012 that there were 2.4m women who want to work but are not in work. Women tend to bring different skills to the table and the more they can be supported in entering the workforce the better.

I had a fabulous afternoon at Channel Radio and loved every minute of being part of a lively discussion. Running your own business can present some fascinating opportunities and I would encourage other business owners to embrace many of those opportunities, you never know where they may lead.