The rise of the female entrepreneur
It’s Women’s History Month, and modern day working women are rejoicing in the benefits that being a business owner brings – from the luxury of flexible working hours and choosing your colleagues, as well as enjoying an uncapped income - making a living as an entrepreneur certainly has its rewards. But, as we all know, deciding to take the plunge is far from easy, and often requires a great deal of risk.
In anticipation of InterActive’s upcoming 2016 Student Networking Event and Celebration of Graduates, to be held this May, in Prague, Czech Republic, we spoke to three ambitious women who decided to open their own business in this historically charming city. Read on to discover what lessons they inspire, and what advice they have for aspiring entrepreneurs looking to make their mark in the business world.
Be open to alternative solutions
There are certainly numerous challenges to getting your business up and running, from raising enough start-up capital to finding the ideal marketing channels to promote your product or service – the process can be daunting, to say the least! Marie Poirot, business owner of Terra Ceramics, was able to find success by not allowing the obstacle of finding the right location keep her from moving forward. She says, “After getting my bachelor’s in product design in France, I moved to Scotland to get a master’s in interdisciplinary design. Once I decided that I wanted to open my own pottery studio, it became clear I couldn’t afford to build a workshop in Scotland or Paris, so I moved to Prague and found an opportunity here.” Marie’s decision to take her business idea abroad is a reflection of the need for modern-day entrepreneurs to be creative in their endeavours and open to all options.
Listen to people around you
The most successful entrepreneurial undertakings are arguably those that address a market gap. That’s precisely what Canadian entrepreneur Jodi Nesvadbova did when she decided to open Double Czech Visa, a start-up that offers visa and immigration services to foreigners and expats living in the Czech Republic. She says, “Whenever I met with friends living in Prague, conversations always migrated towards the subject of their visa status, and I remember everyone always complaining about the process, how expensive the services were, and so on. So I started paying more attention, reading more about it, and naturally it led to me taking on this venture to address these problems.” Jodi and her business partner, Carlos Alderete, have been in business for just over a year now, proving that sometimes the best business opportunities could be much closer than you think.
Let your passion lead the way
It is often said that your work should align with your passions, and if you love what you do – the money will come to you later. Zuzana Pragrova, owner of Zuzana Pragrova Fotographie, studied economics and international business, before deciding she wanted to open her own photography studio. Speaking about her decision to open shop, she says, “I noticed that the women who were around me in my daily life – a lot of them weren’t confident, they didn’t trust themselves. I saw the potential to empower them by photographing them in a way that would make them feel strong and beautiful.” After committing to ongoing photography classes, Zuzana decided to combine her business expertise and passion for art to launch a successful venture that helps women, men, families, and even children see themselves in a whole new light – via the lens of an artist.
As 2016 wears on, it is estimated that 89% of female entrepreneurs can expect a stable or increased profit. And with no signs of slowing down, it seems that women will revolutionise the working culture in years to come – will you take part?