Our female founders share their advice

Posted: 19 November, 2020

We asked some of the talented women who have founded companies through our programme, and from our own community, a simple question:

What advice would you give to women thinking about becoming entrepreneurs?

Here’s what they said.

“Being a founder opens up limitless opportunity to try your strength and to go out and achieve whatever you believe to be valuable, making it a really fulfilling career choice. Not to mention the awe-inspiring community of founders that you’ll undoubtedly meet along the way through platforms like EF” – Rayna Patel, CEO, VineHealth

“Learn how to sell yourself and be very aware of imposter syndrome. Women, in particular, are not always encouraged to celebrate things that they’ve achieved so it’s important to practice; and the next time you feel not qualified to be somewhere, remember that it’s probably imposter syndrome and keep going!” – Georgina Kirby, CTO, VineHealth

“Don’t be limited by the belief you can only be what you see. Someone needs to be the first; why shouldn’t it be you?” – Bernadette Cho, General Manager, Entrepreneur First Singapore

“It’s very easy to overthink taking the plunge – you will always be able to find a reason to put off becoming a founder. Try to think about what are the reasons to do it and do it now, otherwise you might be putting it off for the rest of your life” – Alice Bentinck, CPO and co-founder, Entrepreneur First

“Pick something you really care about, because you’re probably going to have to work twice as hard as the blokes to make it happen

“Growth can only be found at the edge of comfort. It is at this boundary that you learn fast, experiment, create, innovate and evolve. By design, it breaks you out of your mould and challenges you, but here you’ll find opportunities you never dreamed possible.

I could have never planned to be the founder I am today. There’s no secret formula, just start backing yourself.” – Natalie Doran, CEO, Lytehouse

“My advice to women thinking about becoming an entrepreneur is simply that ‘you can do it’. Most of us never actually hear those words out loud- we are more likely to have detractors and doubters, both growing up and in the work place. So in case no-one ever said it to you before, I’ll say it now. You can do it. And it doesn’t matter if you haven’t done it before, you can figure it out. You got this.” – Hazel Savage, CEO, Musiio

“Never underestimate the power of grit, determination and perseverance.

There’s a perception that many founders come from a privileged background.  It wasn’t handed to me on a plate. My parents were first generation immigrants trying to make it in, and I was put through my paces in tough corners of the US public school system. I believe working hard and building relationships allows you to always learn and move forward.

Explore passions but be open-minded.” – Zeena Qureshi, CEO, Sonantic

“Surround yourself with friends, colleagues and a team who believe in you and that you’re the right person to make your idea a success. Nothing is a better motivator than the people around you cheering you on.” – Nina Patrick, CEO, MiProbes

“To all the ambitious women out there – if you’re not thinking about entrepreneurship, you should be. There is no better way to create impact and realize your potential. And if you’re worried that the road ahead will be hard, well, it will be. But that shouldn’t stop you! Don’t let anything stop you.” – Esha Tiwary, General Manager, Entrepreneur First India

“At the risk of stating the obvious, women are massively under-represented in leadership roles, namely in tech. I have been fortunate to meet many inspiring female leaders in my career (including Anna Caravaggio and Hollie Gonzales) that have challenged me to be the best version of myself.

To all of you ladies out there, be the inspiration to the ambitious women in your life” – Rachel Zimmer, General Manager, Entrepreneur First Toronto

If you see yourself as a future founder, don't wait. Apply to our programme, and realise your potential.