Like A Girl

Pushing the conversation on gender equality.

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Empowering Quotes from 10 Black Female Founders

Entrepreneur Lauren Napier

As we enter Black History Month here in the UK, it reminds us that celebrating the amazing achievements of black people should not happen just one month a year but all year-round. Based on that, we wanted to highlight some of the incredible women we have interviewed and share some of our favourite quotes below:

1. Angie Le Mar, comedienne, actress, writer, director, presenter and producer
There are many moments in my career that I’m proud of; one of them was deciding to write a show simply because, as a black actress, there were no real roles for us. Then I had the gift of dyslexia, so I struggled with auditions which meant I would rarely shine. So I then thought to myself, “You’re going to have to write your own show and star in that.”

I wrote Funny Black Women On The Edge, a sketch show where I wanted to show black women as more than just down trodden women. I wanted us to be funky, sexy and cool. The show was a huge hit, smash box office hit and, at that point I thought, “I guess I’m a writer now.”

Read Angie’s interview here.

2. Ade Onilude, founder of Women in Marketing
If you want to achieve greatness, stop asking for permission.

Read Ade’s interview here.

3. Rachel Yankey OBE, Engalnd and Arsenal Footballer and Founder
I feel proud that having left school with no G.C.S.E’s, not knowing who I was or what I was going to do, I have ended up representing my country at the most elite level of football, being one of the most capped footballers, and I own my own company. These are things that I never dreamt of achieving when I left school.

Read Rachel’s interview here.

4. Sherrell Dorsey, Writer and Founder of The Plug
I wanted to solve a problem and contribute value to the ecosystem on an international level. I’m learning a lot about business growth, hiring smart team members, and working with people who know how to hustle smart and can help me think bigger.

Read Sherrell’s interview here.

5. Elizabeth Solaru, founder of Elizabeth’s Cake Emporium
Be bold, be brave and don’t be afraid of failing. Embrace what makes you different as this is exactly what will make you successful.

Read Elizabeth’s interview here.

6. Bianca Miller, serial entrepreneur and author
Don’t be afraid — the world of business can be a scary place but, as long as you are prepared, there is little anyone can do to stop you making it.

Read Bianca’s interview here.

7. Erina Nyonyintono, artist and founder of Creative Curls
Always believe in yourself and ignore the naysayers. With the right attitude and perseverance, anything is possible.

Read Erina’s interview here.

8. Lauren Napier, entrepreneur and makeup artist, creator of CLEANSE
Everyone will tell you “No.” You have to believe in yourself and your brand and climb over any obstacles. Let go of your weak links. It’s your business so don’t be afraid to make the hard choices of letting someone go. Any time you are faced with opposition, it is important to stop and reassess. You can overcome any obstacle if you are willing to reevaluate your strategy.

Read Lauren’s interview here.

9. Janet Oganah, former barrister and founder of Attica Communications
When I started my career at the Bar, I did not look or sound like what my clients expected. I had to prove myself continuously, which was difficult but ultimately useful as it meant that I always had to be at the top of my game. At the start (because I looked very young) my opponents would sometimes try to take advantage of me because of my perceived inexperience. Although this was very stressful at the start, it turned out to be a real asset when I had some experience under my belt and I was underestimated for the same reasons.

Read Janet’s story here.

10. Monica Mwanje, founder and Managing Director of MM Creative Solutions
Know your market and know how to communicate with your market. Ultimately people buy from people, regardless of the sector, so invest in those relationships.

Know your worth and don’t be afraid to put yourself forward and ask for something or the opportunity. It never fails to amaze me how far you can get by simply asking for help or asking to be pointed in the right direction.

Read Monica’s story here.

** This post first appeared on the F = blog here. **