According to the 2019 HM Treasury Report, up to £250 billion could be added to the UK economy if more women started and scaled business up at the same rate as men.
Local graphic designer and coworking space founder Gemma Thirsk is aiming to change this by providing female start-ups with the essential tools required to set up in business through her new project That’s Her Business, which is part of the 2020 Bring It Crowdfunder campaign.
After becoming a sole trader, Gemma started noticing that women shared some of the same problems when it came to starting and scaling businesses, and began to ask why. Studies show women tend to be more risk-averse than men, making them less likely to set up on their own.
Gemma says “You can start and grow a successful business with just a bit of talent and ambition – which we all know women do not lack, so I want to use my skills and experience to help women overcome some of the barriers they face when setting up. Since getting into our own coworking space, I’ve started to learn more about the problems we share too. The biggest player for most of us has been, imposter syndrome – telling ourselves we don’t belong. In the past, we’ve all been people who have sat for too long thinking about how emails are worded or if we’re charging the right price. Now, we are constantly building each other up to know our worth and grow our businesses.”
As a result, Gemma began developing That’s Her Business, a collaboration of female freelancers, which needs to raise £4000 by April 1 to reach, empower and support more women to become successful entrepreneurs.
Currently, at the halfway point in the crowdfunding campaign, That’s Her Business aims to tackle the start-up challenges which concern many female entrepreneurs, including graphic and web design business photography and content creation so that they can focus their energies on generating sales for their business from day one. Gemma continues “Having a professional presence online can help raise the positive thoughts and feelings of women who struggle with their confidence and self-esteem. Offering a full online business package is a great way for us to give back to the business community. In addition to this, we’re also going to offer long-term support by opening up an online group where we can help one another overcome business challenges and celebrate business wins.”
The Bring It 2020 Crowdfunding campaign is a collaboration between NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland and Ulster Bank and powered by Crowdfunder, to help women raise money and build skills to get women’s business ideas off the ground. If Gemma’s project successfully reaches its target, then she’ll be offered first-hand support Crowdfunder as well potentially receive funding from NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland and Ulster Bank.
Gemma ends “I realised that Crowdfunding would be useful for setting up the That’s Her Business project having seen how it had helped other businesses around me to grow and give back to the community and economy. If we reach our £4000 target, then it means we can do something we love – empowering women to thrive in business together.”
The Crowdfunder campaign closes on 1 April. To support, visit: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/empowering-women-in-business