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Inspiration From 8 Women Entrepreneurs

Posted: August 28, 2012

The women entrepreneurs of India are a growing force in business; sharing here writing by women entrepreneurs around the world to inspire us!

By Aparna V. Singh 

As an entrepreneur in India myself, I know how easy it is sometimes to feel disheartened – the journey seems uphill, and the rewards are slow to come by. Of course, there is that one note you receive from a customer (or a reader, in our case!) with fulsome praise and the day looks brighter than ever, but the following day, it is back to the slog all over again.

The women entrepreneurs of India often have it even harder and as our study on women and entrepreneurship in India shows – knowing and learning from other entrepreneurs helps. 

Here are some interesting pieces of writing from a few women entrepreneurs – words that teach, provoke, inspire.

1. Focus on creating a body of work – don’t get fixated on a career path. That’s the advice from Pamela Slim, Author of Escape From Cubicle Nation, one of the earliest bloggers I was reading and coach to wannabe entrepreneurs.

What I liked about this piece: Sometimes, we get too bogged down by what others expect of us, or what we ‘think’ a career should look like. Pam’s advice is not just the idealistic ‘follow your heart’ but to really think about the work that you are doing and the work that excites you.

2. Some of us who want to become entrepreneurs fear risk; how can we overcome the fear of risk? Vandana Chatterjee, an Indian entrepreneur who runs an executive search firm answers the question.

What I liked about this piece: It acknowledges the fact that we all have fears, including successful entrepreneurs; success is not the absence of fear, but learning to overcome it and move ahead.

3. Not every startup is successful at the very first try. Shazi Visram, Founder of US based baby food company, Happy Baby, talks about her early failures and how she and her team learnt from them.

What I liked about this piece: It is a useful reminder that mistakes can be a good thing – if one can learn from them.

4. By now, you must surely have come across Chumbak, the home of cheeky, amazingly creative products? In their early days, we interviewed the co-founder of Chumbak, Shubhra Chaddha on their journey. 

What I liked about this piece: I love Shubhra’s ‘Just Do It’ attitude, which makes this one of my favourite interviews from all that we have ever done on Women’s Web.

5. Another woman entrepreneur I greatly admire is Preethi Sukumaran of Krya, and the Krya interview we did is a very useful one for any entrepreneur entering an under-explored/ niche market.

What I liked about this piece: I liked the way Preethi has thought of her brand values and extended them to every area, including the marketing, when most brands limit it to the product attributes. That is something other entrepreneurs can learn.

6. We’ve all heard Sheryl Sandberg’s speech to women about career and ambition, about ‘Don’t leave before you leave’, but I liked quite a lot entrepreneur Caroline O’Connor’s thoughts on how the talk helped her make a decision about launching a company while simultaneously becoming a mother.

What I liked about this piece: Hearing an industry leader give out a piece of advice is one thing, but this post really shows how women navigate such challenges.

7. This isn’t specifically a piece on entrepreneurship, but I really liked Sairee Chahal’s thoughts on women and ambition, and how to close the gap.

What I liked about this piece: It would be particularly useful for aspiring entrepreneurs who are sometimes held back by a combination of factors, with gender being one.

8. Women entrepreneurs have a harder time raising funding. No, it’s not a myth. Here is a piece I liked from entrepreneur Julia Hu on why women have trouble raising funds (unconscious discrimination is a reason, but not the only one), and what women as well as men can do about it.

What I liked about this piece: It lays out clearly the challenges women face and leads one to think over one’s own approach to not just fund-raising, but any activity that needs you to convince influential people about your business.

These are some pieces that I have found very inspiring and useful. Which women entrepreneurs have inspired you? Do you have any stories or pieces of writing that have been useful to you? Do share in the comments section!

*Photo credit: Victor1558 (Used under the Creative Commons Attribution License.)

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