1st Edition

Female Entrepreneurs The Secrets of Their Success

By John Smythe, Ruth Saunders Copyright 2020
    316 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The comparative numbers between male- and female-led start-ups are stark. Ninety-one per cent of venture capital money continues to fund businesses founded solely by men, with only one per cent of venture capital money invested in businesses founded solely by women. Yet being a female entrepreneur is not the preserve of Wonder Woman. It’s for every woman who wants to make it happen.

    Female Entrepreneurs: The Secrets of Their Success encourages every woman who has dreamt of being an entrepreneur but hasn’t yet taken the leap to take the first steps towards realising her dreams – as well as encouraging every woman who has not yet thought about running her own business to consider it. Additionally, it encourages governments and the corporate world to recognise and embrace the huge value that female entrepreneurs bring to society and the economy.

    John Smythe and Ruth Saunders reveal the secrets of the success of fifty-two female entrepreneurs. They outline wisdom and insights to inspire budding entrepreneurs to take the leap and offer practical advice on what to think about when setting your business up for success as well as when considering whether to scale. They also provide top tips on how to play to women’s inherent strengths and avoid the weaknesses women face – as well as how to stay sane and enjoy the journey. This practical, unique guide provides the encouragement, support and motivation any aspiring female entrepreneur could need to make those first steps towards the realisation of their ambitions.

    John Smythe and Ruth Saunders are both entrepreneurs themselves and regularly advise start-ups on how to launch and scale up for growth.

    About the Authors, Prologue, Chapter One – Why this book? Chapter Two – Getting Started, Chapter Three – Discovering and honing your business idea, Chapter Four – Building the confidence to take the first steps, Chapter Five – Surrounding yourself with the right people, Chapter Six – Scaling up a business to be successful, Chapter Seven – Failure comes with the territory, Chapter Eight – Embracing the natural advantages that women have, Chapter Nine – Overcoming the natural challenges that women face, Chapter Ten – Making work work around life: The personal agenda, Chapter Eleven – Making Work Work for Women: The Female Agenda, Chapter Twelve – Yes, She Can: Authors’ reflections, Appendix: interviewee biographies, Index


    John Smythe spent his early career in corporate and government relations and then set up a pioneering leader and employee engagement consultancy, SmytheDorwardLambert. He has three books to his credit: The Velvet Revolution at Work, The CEO: The Chief Engagement Officer and Corporate Reputation: Managing the New Strategic Asset.

    Ruth Saunders uses her thirty years of experience as a strategy consultant at McKinsey & Co, marketer at P&G, advertising planner at Saatchi & Saatchi and market researcher at Mars Inc. to help clients develop, to get board buy-in and to implement innovative marketing strategies that deliver tangible business growth. She is author of Marketing in the Boardroom and is a trainer, speaker and coach.

    "This book is a MUST HAVE for any budding entrepreneurs – male or female. It’s an essential ‘how to’ guide, offering insights and endless pearls of wisdom that give you the courage to jump in and go for it. If only it had been available when I started my business..."Gemma Greaves, Founder, Cabal and Chief Executive, The Marketing Society

    "There's never been a better time for women to start their own business. Whether you simply want to work for yourself or you're driven to build the next big thing in tech, you'll find inspiration in these stories."Sarah Turner, Co-founder & CEO, Angel Academe

    "Packed with great case studies and examples, this book highlights the key pathways – and obstacles – to success for female entrepreneurs and helps you to navigate them."Ann Francke, Chief Executive, Chartered Management Institute

    "As an entrepreneur, I know how hard it can be to start from nothing – especially if you’ve had a significant corporate role beforehand. Be prepared to ask for lots of help and keep asking – you’ll be amazed how prepared people are to help. Take your input from a wide range of sources – this book is a good place to start with lots of sage advice. And don’t believe in luck – success comes when opportunity meets experience!"Steven Mendel, Founder, Bought By Many

    "One of the recurring themes in this book is just how much better women are at communicating with their teams – engaging with them in an authentic and empathetic approach that really can't be faked. Good communication does not guarantee success, but there is not one example here that mimics the command and control ethic of many male entrepreneurs we have too long revered."Marc Wright, Founder, simplycommunicate

    "Why do so many women thrive after they’ve left corporate life and reinvented themselves as successful entrepreneurs? What is the corporate world getting so wrong that such a significant talent base prefers to work and achieve elsewhere? Read on! Rich with insights and detailed real-life advice from interviews with 52 successful women entrepreneurs, Smythe and Saunders – no mean entrepreneurs themselves – have produced a highly readable and very timely examination of what it means to set up and run your own successful business, and what that means for women entrepreneurs specifically.  "Yes, she can" – and they are. If only all that entrepreneurial spirit, courage and creativity could find a home in most organisations too." – Richard Goff, Chair, www.peopledirector.org