Last night I went along to an event hosted by the New Entrepreneurs Foundation to encourage more females to drive the entrepreneurs agenda, and ultimately to entice them to join the programme. On the panel sharing their experience was Jane Michell (Jane Plan), Reshma Sohoni (SeedCamp), Lucy Stonehill (BridgeU) and Rikke Rosenlund (Borrow My Doggy).
1. Nobody has all the skills they need when they start. At the end of the day, confidence, charisma, resilience and people skills is what is going to make you stand out in business and go further than your competitors. Confidence is especially lacking in females; we always think we aren't good enough or can't possibly make it. Confidence is what is going to set you apart, so find it.
2. Be careful when you start your business. Build and work on free time, build in an embryonic way and ultimately, hope. Leaving a job to focus on a business is risky, but as long as you have a strong network around you and money coming in as well as going out, you can make it.
3. It's important to understand every part of your business, but you don't have to be able to do it all. Surround yourself with support and people you trust.
4. Create the very best possible experience for your customers. The best product or service never wins - it's how it is executed and how much value you give to your customers.
5. Get over rejection. Share your ideas; the more you are rejected, the more time you may not waste pursuing things which won't work.
Finally, 5 pieces of advice from then panel:
Rikke: "Do something you are passionate about and care about - not for the end valuation".
Jane: "Be prepared for the journey".
Reshma: "Find a good partner. The entrepreneurial journey isn't a one year journey, so you need the right person beside you".
Lucy: "Surround yourself with powerful networks".
If you are an aspiring entrepreneur, applications for the New Entrepreneurs Foundation are now open.