We're here in Monaco for the World Entrepreneur of the Year Awards. Of the 57 entrants this time, only five are women. So we decided to speak to some of them to find out what challenges they come across in running a successful business.
They just don't take you seriously. They see the women in a different role. And so sometimes they're astonished, surprised. But at the end they are all happy sitting opposite to a woman. And I think women have very special qualities in doing business in a completely different way. And I think that's the only chance that I have as a woman in a man's world.
Well, I don't think I've spent a lot of time thinking about who dominates this. I mean, I've just jumped in and got on with it. Sheryl Sandberg's lean in philosophy I think is a good one. Just get in there and take it and make it happen. So I think being bloody minded, determined, and creative in your thinking. Lots of people out there saying no. So a step back and going how do I get around this? I think those are the things that really helped me and set me up for success.
Most difficult place for women to get to is really this, the top tier, the CEO level, the board member seat and so on. And that's a shame, because women bring incredible value. And they often have a very different perspective than men.
My advice for women who want to start businesses, to have courage to leave the comfort zone and to trust in themselves.
Just do it. It's Nike, but sometimes it's a good one. You have to be, you have to work sometimes much harder than men. But then you're doing it not only for yourself, you're doing it for millions of other women.
I would say one, do a business plan. Two, be a forensic investigator in getting the necessary information prior. Ask anybody, talk to everybody, distill it and really listen, and put that in the business plan. Three, once you know you have an idea that's strong, just do it. Put one foot in front of the other.