July 12, 2020

Starting Your Own Business Is Hard. Here’s Some Advice.


As a young girl, Ms. O’Sullivan spent Saturday mornings watching her grandmother deftly chat up customers at the counter of her sweet shop on Merrion Row in Dublin. “Granny was quite a character,” said Ms. O’Sullivan, founder of GiftsDirect.com, the largest online retailer in Ireland, and TheIrishStore.com, which sells Irish products globally. “She loved running her own business. Customers would walk blocks past other similar stores just to spend a few minutes with her.”

In 1987, Ms. O’Sullivan embarked on her own journey as an entrepreneur, selling teddy bears and driving a moped to deliver them. She took off with start-up capital of 2,000 pounds funded by her friends and family — and the soul of her grandmother driving her forward.

Seek out women-friendly initiatives and supporters.Going for Growth is an initiative to support female entrepreneurs in the Republic of Ireland. Look for funders who support women-owned businesses. Enterprise Ireland, for example, has a special fund for female entrepreneurs.”

Keep learning. “In 2009, the opportunity to attend an intensive yearlong program sponsored by Enterprise Ireland, Leadership 4 Growth, held at Stanford University Graduate School of Business, boosted my leadership, strategic capability, and confidence. It was like an M.B.A. with no exams, thank you. This was a game changer in the business. It allowed me to step back and say ‘hang on a second what is it we really need to do to get to the next stage?’”

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/19/business/women-entrepreneurs-advice.html?emc=rss&partner=rss

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