While most high profile entrepreneurs in the UK are men, the number of women becoming household names for entrepreneurship is growing. As well as the famous names such as JK Rowling, Karren Brady, jaqueline Golds and Martha Lane Fox, there are many other female entrepreneurs hailing from the UK. Fashion and design are one of the strongest areas that boasts female success.
Here is a list of women that, while not at the dizzy financial heights of the women I’ve previously mentioned, are making a huge impact in Britain today.
Sophie Cornish and Holly Tucker
Not On The High Street was formed around seven years ago, providing an online marketplace for designers. Now, alongside Etsy and Folksy, this site is among the most successful platform for people to find something a little unusual from the usual giftware. Sophie Cornish and Holly Tucker founded this online marketplace, which now has a massive number or independent traders, or ‘partners’.
Despite not being a trained chef, Ruth Rogers experience and skill has made her one of the UK’s top chefs. Rogers is the owner and chef of London’s River Café, founded with her late business partner, Rose Gray. Combining outstanding culinary skills and business acumen, Ruth Rogers has cemented her place as one of the UK’s most notable entrepruneurs.
Not only producing divine handbags and accessories for the UK based market, Lulu Guinness OBE has opened stores in New York and Tokyo. The designers own brand of whimsical, yet elegant, handbags also graces Fortnum and Mason, Selfridges and Harrods. You’ll also see her magnificent creations on the arms of Keira Knightly, Katy Perry, Rachel Weisz and Helena Bonham Carter.
Originally working under Mary Quant, Caroline Charles absorbed the vibrancy and vitality of 60s London. When Charles struck out on her own, the impact was incredible, finding herself dressing celebrities from Mick Jagger and Ringo Starr to Diana, Princess of Wales. In 2002, Caroline Charles was awarded an OBE for Services To The British Fashion Industry, and has collaborated with the Victoria & Albert Museum, as well as other designers such as Burberry and Marks & Spencer.
The cute and loveable designs of baby clothing brand Olive & Moss have become incredibly popular since their inception in 2007. These characterful creations are the brain child of Nina Govan, who had worked as a freelance designer before creating her own line of clothing and accessories for babies and toddlers.
These women have been great trail blazers in many industries that are male-dominated, and it goes to show that it doesn’t have to be about big boardrooms and tycoons. Entrepreneurs come from very different backgrounds, experiences and educations. That’s the great thing about setting up a business, it all starts with an idea, and you don’t have to be a business expert to have an idea, although getting the idea developed and turned into a success is another matter. But all great business concepts have to start somewhere!