Phenomenal female founders: f:Entrepreneur’s #ialso100

To mark International Women’s Day (8 March), we joined 100 specially-invited female entrepreneurs to celebrate their achievements at a business breakfast hosted by f:Entrepreneur

Tide proudly sponsored the event at the House of Lords and we continue to support f:Entrepreneur. At today’s event, Tide’s Sarah, Ali and Sooze met this year’s #ialso100 list and discovered a theme: it’s up to you to seize opportunities.

More than just a single career: #ialso100

The guests at the House of Lords event are this year’s f:Entrepreneur #ialso100 list, all chosen for inspiring their peers and communities.

f:Entrepreneur was founded in 2017 by Michelle Ovens and campaigns to highlight, celebrate and promote female entrepreneurs, share stories and build a community of women supporting women.

f:Entrepreneur established the ialso100 hashtag to reflect that women in business rarely have a single-job career. At an event in 2018, the organisers noticed the phrase “I also…” cropped up repeatedly, as businesswomen described juggling different jobs.

Every woman in the #ialso100 list is an example of challenge and success. f:Entrepreneur hope their stories inspire all small business founders – both men and women.

It’s up to you to seize opportunities

As we spoke to guests and listened to the speakers, we noticed a theme emerging: it’s up to you to seize opportunities.

Michelle Ovens MBE, founder of f:Entrepreneur, announced she’d just launched Small Business Britain to promote the interests of the UK’s 5.8m smaller businesses. The aim is to inspire optimism and support small business owners with the skills they need to offset negativity and post-Brexit gloom. Michelle told today’s gathering:

“The opportunities are there. But people don’t step up to take them. We can help you see the opportunities. But it’s up to you to take them. We’re a community – take the support we offer. Because it’s there for you.”

Sarah Ali Choudhury, Indian food entrepreneur, told the group that being selected as one of f:Entrepreneur’s #ialso100 list in 2019 led to many opportunities, including a feature in Forbes. Her advice to us all?

“Take every opportunity. Put other things on the back-burner. Seize your momentum.”

Our VP of Member Engagement, Sarah Young, introduced Tide and announced that we’re at 30% of our target to get 100,000 female-led businesses up and running with their business bank account by the end of 2023.

Sarah Young addresses the f:Entrepreneur breakfast for International Women's Day

Sarah also presented the group with exactly the sort of opportunity Michelle and Sarah Ali Choudhury were talking about: 

“We were shocked to find out that 60% of women business owners said ‘lack of confidence’ has held them back. We run Masterclasses and our next one, led by Helen Tupper of Amazing If, is about how to gain confidence in yourself and your business. We’d love to see you there.”

Who we met

We were keen to hear from attendees who told us about their achievements, the barriers they overcame and, of course, how they do their business banking.

The trades represented covered many sectors, from caterers and super-car holiday tours to yoga teachers and online shop owners.

Virginia Mendez

Tide member Virginia Mendez stood out in her slogan T-shirt (which we’re all ordering, by the way).

Her Belfast-based business, sells clothing, books and gifts – including her stand-out slogan T-shirt, ‘My favourite position is CEO’.

Her husband Chris runs small businesses too, including FlatWhiteDigital, an e-commerce consultancy.

Dee Mapasure

South African Dee Mapasure runs K’s Wors, a food company whose hero products are their “top drawer bangers” – spicy sausages.

Dee told us: “High street banks don’t understand the food industry. They don’t understand that I need to order a ton of spices before I can make the sausages.”

At Tide, we’re here for brand new enterprises as well as established small businesses. We filled Dee in on a few of the features we’re developing this year which will help business owners like her.

Toni Cassidy

Ex-Police officer Toni Cassidy (on the right in our photo) founded GlamaVan, a glitter-face-painting service and online shop. In 2017, after five years of running her business on the side, alongside her job with the MET, she was ready to go it alone.

Today, at a spontaneous pop-up glitter bar, Toni decorated guests with her eco-friendly biodegradable glitter and aloe-based gel. (It’s possibly the first time guests have left the House of Lords looking like they’ve been at a music festival.)

An opportunity to increase your confidence

We’re giving you the opportunity to attend our March Masterclass, How to gain confidence in yourself and your business. It’s open to all, female and male. Read more and sign up.

Masterclasses are free for Plus and Premium members.
Ask us how to get your free ticket

Celebrating and supporting women in business

To everyone we met today: we were inspired by your stories. And if you’re not yet with Tide, what are you waiting for? Joining us starts from… free! So you can try us alongside the business account you already have. Does your bank do all this?

We’re looking forward to another year of supporting women in business. Let us know how you’re marking International Women’s Day – get in touch with us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

Tide's Sarah, Sooze and Ali
Tide’s Sarah, Sooze and Ali

Suzanne Worthington

Suzanne Worthington

Senior Writer

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