2nd November 2016
Every Wednesday JHPR spotlight a woman doing amazing things within her business field. As champions of startups and small business owners we will be selecting a wonder woman to profile each week.
Our Wednesday Wonder Woman is Lu li, formerly running two other consulting businesses in Europe, Lu Li noticed the ratio of men to women starting up their own businesses and the struggles of solo founders like herself working relentlessly to get things off the ground.
Publishing her most recent book ‘Dear Female Founder’ within just months in addition to working full-time, Lu li has received amazing responses and coverage from Forbes, The Huffington Post and the BBC.
What is your business? Blooming Founders is a company that focuses on the needs of female founders and works to help them accelerate their startup journey.
How long has your business been trading? For almost 2 years. The brand officially launched in August 2015.
What inspired you to start your business? I ran two other consulting-based businesses before (one in Zurich and one in London). Networking has been my key tool to gain clients and while doing so, I have noticed that there are a lot less women starting up their own business than men and that those who do tend to be solo founders like me, working ridiculously hard to get things off the ground. I felt that there are structural things, such as being a solo founder, that make the startup journey for female founders more difficult and I wanted to change that and make things a little easier because I really believe that entrepreneurship is a great place for women to achieve professional fulfilment and that more women should try it.
What has been your greatest business achievement? I have created and published my book Dear Female Founder within only 9 months (while working full-time running my startup) and got coverage on Forbes.com, The Huffington Post and the BBC.
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced along your business journey? The biggest challenge I have overcome is building my reputation when I was a nobody in the startup ecosystem just 18 months ago. Now people know me and I get approached by so many people, that’s hard to keep up with every request and opportunity. Therefore, my current biggest challenge now is not having enough resources to deal with every inbound request. It helps me to prioritise though and I’m working hard to generate more revenue so I can hire people full-time and build a kick-ass team. I’m really looking forward to that!
How is your business contributing to your community or society? Social change is baked into my business model as I am looking to create an infrastructure that helps more women gain economic independence by building sustainable businesses. Ultimately, I believe that every society will change for the better, when there are more successful businesses run by women.
How has media coverage helped to raise your profile? The media coverage I got after my book launch was instrumental to raise my profile. All of a sudden, I was not this girl running community events for female entrepreneurs anymore, but someone who comes up with innovative products and solutions and executes them, while getting the backing of very well-known business women and investors.
Best piece of business advice you’ve ever been given? Put the oxygen mask on you first, before you help others. In my case, it means that I cannot sustainably help other female founders, if I am not building a flourishing business myself.
Where is your product or service available? My book Dear Female Founder is available on Amazon. My events can be found on the Blooming Founders Eventbrite page. If you are interested in joining our community of female founders, you are welcome to apply via bit.ly/joinbloomingfounders.
Business website and social media handles. www.bloomingfounders.com