Powerful Female Entrepreneurs Who Built Something From Nothing
The world of entrepreneurship has long been dominated by men, but a wave of remarkable women is rewriting the narrative.
The stories of these women are an inspiration to us all. They demonstrate that with hard work, perseverance, and a never-give-up attitude, anything is possible. They are role models for aspiring female entrepreneurs and for anyone who has ever dreamed of starting their own business.
Many female entrepreneurs come from humble beginnings. They have faced financial hardship, discrimination, and prejudice. These challenges, however, did not deter them. Instead, they became the fuel that ignited the fire within. They refused to be defined by their circumstances, choosing instead to create their own opportunities for success.
Our Top Female Entrepreneur Speakers who built something from nothing
Baroness Karren Brady
From humble beginnings in advertising sales, Baroness Karren Brady rose to become a towering figure in the world of football, making her mark as the youngest Managing Director of a UK plc and transforming Birmingham City from the brink of administration into a thriving club. Her impact extended to West Ham United, where she secured the club’s move to the iconic Olympic Stadium, propelling it to become one of the fastest-growing brands in global football. With unwavering determination and strategic brilliance, Karren Brady has redefined the role of women in sports business, leaving an indelible mark on the industry.
Michelle Mone was born into a difficult upbringing in the east end of Glasgow. After leaving school without qualifications at 15 years of age, she initially pursued a career in modelling before finding success in the marketing industry. Despite being made redundant from her position at the Labatt brewing company, Mone used this as an opportunity to start her own business. In 1996, she founded the lingerie company Ultimo, along with MJM International Ltd, with her former husband Michael Mone.
Jaega Wise turned her love of beer into a wildly successful career, which has seen her win Brewer Of The Year twice at just 34 years old. Not only that, but she’s one of the female brewers intent on raising the profile of beer, a traditionally male-skewed drink. Jaega began her passion by home-brewing beer with friends at university while studying chemical engineering, but she never thought she’d make a career out of it. Now, she is the head brewer of a small independent brewery called Wild Card Brewery based in Walthamstow, London and is an inspiration for women worldwide.
Despite leaving school with only six ‘O’ Levels, Jo Fairley’s unwavering determination and hard work propelled her to become the UK’s youngest-ever magazine editor. Her entrepreneurial spirit led her to co-found Green & Black’s Chocolate in 1991, a brand that has since grown into a global success story, nearing a £100 million annual turnover. Inspired by the challenges faced during a recession, Jo is now a valuable resource for other companies seeking guidance and inspiration during difficult times.
With a passion for creating exquisite fragrances, Jo Malone embarked on an entrepreneurial journey at the age of 21, launching her fragrance and scented candle business, Jo Malone London, from her own kitchen in 1983. Her dedication to crafting exceptional scents soon gained recognition, leading to the opening of her first store in London in 1994. Recognizing the brand’s immense potential, Estée Lauder Companies acquired Jo Malone London in 1999. Jo Malone continued to serve as the company’s Creative Director, steering its creative vision until her departure in 2006.
Liz Earle MBE is a businesswoman and champion of women’s health whose name is eponymous with one of the world’s leading skincare brands. Further to this, she is a speaker, media influencer, author of 36 books, TV presenter, podcast host and charity-founder. Liz has dedicated her career to helping women celebrate every stage of their lives – especially that all-important second half.
Michaela Wain was born and bred in Bolton. She is an entrepreneur and established businesswoman within the construction industry. Michaela is the managing director of Design and Build UK, Vantage Utility Connections Holdings, Property Ninjas and Framework Marketing. Michaela was a finalist on BBC’s The Apprentice and later secured the investment after her exposure on the show. She is passionate about EDI in construction, in particular, encouraging more women into the industry.
Nisha Katona MBE
Nisha Katona MBE was born and raised in Skelmersdale to Indian doctor parents. Despite facing racial discrimination from the local community, Nisha pursued her dreams and became a successful barrister in Liverpool. Her passion for food led her to establish Mowgli’s Street Food, a restaurant chain that brings the authentic flavours of Indian home cooking to a wider audience. Nisha’s entrepreneurial spirit and dedication to her craft have made her an inspiration to aspiring restaurateurs and business owners alike.
Passionate, driven and at the very forefront of innovation within entertainment, Remel London is currently one of the most exciting breakout names in British broadcasting. In addition to being a recognised brand ambassador and ex-pro athlete, Remel is also the founder of much celebrated creative platform The Mainstream which provides key networking opportunities, live events, workshops/seminars and podcasts to support exceptional diverse talent in developing their career in the mainstream media space. Remel was named one of the Top 25 Black Entrepreneurs to Watch in 2022 by the HSBS and UK Black Business Show.
Sonya Barlow is the CEO of the LMF Network – Like Minded Females – a careers platform and inclusion consultancy bridging the skills gap and redefining workplace culture. She has written the popular book “Unprepared to Entrepreneur” and has been named among Europe’s Top 50 women in tech, as well as Marie Claire’s Future Shaper, UK Entrepreneur of the Year, and she was invited to Keynote at The House of Commons.
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Our female entrepreneur speakers bring a unique perspective to events, sharing their experiences, insights, and lessons learned from navigating the entrepreneurial landscape, making them ideal for inspiring and motivating audiences at conferences, International Women’s Day celebrations, and other events that champion female empowerment and success.