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Global Entrepreneurship Week 2022


Thursday 17 November 2022

Global Entrepreneurship Week 2022
By Roisin McDermott, Yes You Can Programme Manager.

So, as we approach the end of Global Entrepreneurship week at Women in Business, we wonder how many of our members consider themselves “entrepreneurs”?

I don’t think the word sits naturally with us Northern Ireland women – we are more likely to consider ourselves self-employed, a business owner or the more modern term is female founder.

Entrepreneur makes us think of highflyers, wheeler dealers, multi business owners. In fact the word comes from the French “entreprendre” – to undertake. The definition is a person who sets up a business, taking on financial risks in the hope of profit or making a difference in the world or both!

Women in Business was started by a group of entrepreneurs 20 years ago and the original focus was to support more female business owners to start or grow a business. Our vision for supporting women in throughout their careers and into leadership developed a little later, when we could see a clear need for all women in business.

We are now in our 4th year of running the Yes You Can programme which provides targeted support for entrepreneurs – including potential, newbie, startups and those who want to grow or scale. Over 1000 women have come through this programme and this year we have increased our focus on growth, with 33 women on our Grow It programme.

There is now an amazing supportive community for female entrepreneurs in Northern Ireland, with so many great initiatives and networks such as Awaken Hub, Women in Enterprise, Mums at Work, Evolve Academy, She Said Club, Ladies Who Launch.

Here are some of our top tips for entrepreneurs, especially for those starting out:
  • There is never a perfect time to start a business. Some businesses will actually thrive in a recession.
  • And don’t wait until you have everything perfect. Some people think they need a perfect logo, perfect website and everything shiny and ready. You can get started with a Google My Business free website and decide on your best suited social media platform. Get out there and take action. Test the market, get that first sale.
  • Business plans are a useful document to make you think through all the different aspects. But you need to own your plan. If someone else writes it for you it needs to be your thinking and content.
  • The same goes for financial projections – don’t make assumptions and think you can get that level of sales because someone produced you a nice cashflow projection!
  • A business canvas is a good alternative to a business plan and is a one-page flexible plan you should have on your notice board.
  • Pricing is critical. Understand your costs before you price.
  • There is so much support available. It can be difficult to navigate sometimes. A business mentor should be able to signpost you to the right support.
  • Grow thick skin. Not everyone will like you. Expect rejection. Especially if you have to do sales.
  • Background check your customers and your suppliers – look at their website, their social media, their marketing.
  • Don’t try to chase every customer. Make sure you know your key customer segment/s and who is your perfect customer.
  • Some customers are not for you – let them go. Say no to a customer if it’s not a good match.
  • Seek product/service partnerships. They can enhance your product offer and create a win-win. But make sure you have agreed the roles, finances and ideally put something in writing. Or you can end up with conflict and loss of control.
  • Find joy in your business. It’s easy to do everything and get overwhelmed. So you might need to bring on Associates, staff, students or find family or friends to help. Don’t be afraid to outsource. Ditch it, delegate it or do it.
  • Create boundaries for yourself or you can end up working long hours and neglecting yourself.
  • Network, network, network. You need time away from the “doing” to get insights, motivation and new ideas. Women in Business events, conferences, awards dinners are all great places to do this and meet others.
  • Find your tribe – people that are on a similar journey. Know who you can chat to on a regular basis, about your business issues.
And as many of you I’m sure have heard before, fear is part of the journey. Feel the fear and do it anyway!
You can find out more about Roisin here and connect with her on LinkedIn or via email:

Thursday 17 November 2022

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