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How to be a female founder who’s bossing it

Thought Leader

How to be a female founder who’s bossing it

Pioneering female founder Cassandra Stavrou of PROPERCORN shares her best tips of being a resilient female entrepreneur. It’s all about confidence.


cassa.jpgIt doesn’t matter whether you’re male or female, for a lot of young entrepreneurs it can be a struggle to be taken seriously when you’re first starting out.


I certainly felt this way when I first launched PROPERCORN. I was 25, had no relevant experience and spent months traipsing around the UK trying to convince the macho world of manufacturing to take a punt on me. It was tiring, but it only made me more determined to succeed.


Some industries still have a real lack women in senior roles, and without a visible role model a lot of people may look to other fields where they feel they’re more likely to get listened to.


Forget that. If you have a great idea, be a great leader.


For women starting their first business


There’s so much advice available on how to start-up your business. But I still think one of the most important things you need to do is to define your purpose.


Having a clear direction, beyond your annual targets, is now more important than ever before.  


For a lot of women the biggest obstacle to founding your own business is a confidence issue. And fear of failure can seriously stunt success.


But the tides of female leadership are changing. Successful founders are inspiring more women into business than ever before. So look for those who are leading by example - these role models and mentors may just be the boost you need when your confidence waivers.


Standing out in your industry


Whether you’re looking for a manufacturer, stockist or funding, my top piece of advice is to ready yourself for resilience. Stay passionate and focused on what you’re trying to achieve and you’ll win over the sceptics.


It’s inevitable that there will be setbacks when you’re setting up your own business, but doubt can often be your biggest demon.


Looking for the next generation of female founders


Sarah Wood, co-founder of Unruly, is someone I continually look to for inspiration. Leading in the tech industry, which is notoriously a male-dominated world, she’s an absolutely fearless role model for women. She has such infectious energy and enthusiasm and works tirelessly to support and nurture her team.


It’s all about leading by example. So the more female founders we look up to the better. We all have a responsibility as founders to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs – whoever they may be.


Who are your role models?