Growing a network of female founders
According to data from The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), commissioned by RBC Wealth Management, 26 percent of HNW women in the UK are business owners. Many are also leveraging their success to give back to their communities, similar to Dunn's vision with The Female Lead.
Sixty-five percent of female business owners in the UK say it's important their businesses have a positive economic impact on the communities in which they operate—maintaining jobs and contributing to local economic growth, for example.
The new face of wealth and legacy survey of 1,051 high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs), including 207 respondents in the UK, explores how the meanings of legacy and wealth are being redefined across regions, genders and generations.
While running a business inevitably involves some setbacks, Dunn says having conviction in what you're doing is key to pushing forward. "It has to be something you really want. You have to be a very firm believer in what you're doing because you will get knock backs all of the time and people will challenge you," Dunn says. "You have to be robust and in it for the journey."
Also, don't try to do it all alone. Dunn recommends regularly asking others with experience for advice along the way. "Asking for advice isn't a weakness. I think it's quite the opposite. On the whole, people are very generous and willing to share," she says.
Working to help inspire and grow the number of female founders is an important strategy for RBC, says Simon Smales, managing director, RBC Wealth Management. Areas of focus include creating events to help bring together female entrepreneurs and adding more female relationship managers at RBC to support them and their business journey.
"We see it as a growth area and one we can look after and cater to," says Smales. "We are keen to do all we can to help women in business. We spend a lot of time working to understand their goals for their business and family, and how they want to pass on their wealth."
Alexandra Murphy, associate director, relationship management at RBC Wealth Management in London, says female entrepreneurs often prefer to talk to other female founders about topics such as financing and operating challenges, including how to attract and retain top talent.
"The networking helps them with all of their challenges," Murphy says. "It's all about being able to share insights with one another and help each other out."
The vision of Vicki Saunders, founder of the global non-profit SheEO, is of a similar vein. Members - or activators - in the all-women network, donate funds to support other female entrepreneurs.
"When women come together, it's amazing what can happen," Saunders says.
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