Amelia Rope: How to be a successful female entrepreneur

This development in the UK reinforces the fact that progress is actually being made everywhere by women now, across the world of business – in small and medium sized businesses as well as large firms. There are now more female-led businesses than ever before and this number is bound to keep growing, as long as we support women as much as possible to fulfil their potential and challenge outdated perceptions. By doing so, we could increase the size of our economy by 35% – something that has already begun to resonate with investors and influencers.

Recently, I found myself on a panel for PwC’s new Breakthrough programme – a project aiming to help support women in business – as part of a discussion about women in senior roles and different societal perceptions of male and female qualities. As a woman who has successfully started and grown a business, it challenged me to think hard about my own advice for others wanting to do the same – because peer-to-peer learning really is a key way to help inspire others.

What are the driving forces which encourage and foster the entrepreneurial spirit in women? Does it have something to do with possessing certain characteristics such as creativity and determination? Or perhaps it’s down to breaking down barriers, knowledge, funding, and support?

I would argue that to be successful in business, particularly as a woman, you need a combination of all of these traits, plus an incredibly strong work ethic.

I’ve put together my personal top tips for how to be a successful female entrepreneur:

  1. Accept if you are told ‘no’ but remember there is often a way around it
  2. Avoid overspending in untested areas in the early days
  3. Walk your talk – carry business cards with you at all times, even in the gym!
  4. Be prepared to be challenged and stretched on a regular basis both personally and with your product – you will be amazed how much you grow as a result
  5. Listen to advice from others but always trust your gut with the final decision.  You will be living with it not them
  6. Have a business plan but remain flexible with how it all pans out.  It may surprise you!
  7. Mistakes are positive and will be made; just remember to see them as a learning and aid to help you develop your business further.
  8. Be persistent about securing funding – talk to as many influential sources as possible

Amelia Rope runs her own chocolate company. She is an ambassador for the Business is GREAT Britain campaign, which offers a range of resources for women on how to start, nurture, scale and grow a business, in addition to a wealth of inspiring stories from other successful female entrepreneurs.