Brilliant Businesswomen: Inspiring Journeys of Female Entrepreneurs in the UK 


In the bustling UK business arena, a powerful wave of change is surging, driven by resilient and visionary women who have dared to dream beyond (long established) boundaries. Today is International Women’s Day, so as an all female owned business, Ebonstone duly wanted to pay homage to the struggles, journeys, and triumphs of female entrepreneurs who have carved their own paths in the business world, defying stereotypes and redefining success. 

Historically, women in business have struggled for recognition, and faced a myriad of challenges, from ingrained gender biases to limited access to funding. Despite these obstacles, women in the UK have been breaking glass ceilings and shattering stereotypes. One notable example is Sarah Wood, co-founder of Unruly, a video ad tech company. Wood’s journey began with scepticism and resistance from potential investors who doubted her ability to lead a tech enterprise. However, through tenacity and innovation, Unruly became a multimillion dollar success story, eventually acquired by News Corp. 

Access to capital has long been a significant hurdle for female entrepreneurs. Nevertheless, dynamic women like Debbie Wosskow, founder of Love Home Swap, have proven that a compelling idea and determination can bridge the funding gap. Facing initial rejections, Wosskow persisted, securing backing from a mix of venture capitalists and angel investors. Love Home Swap went on to revolutionise the travel industry, showcasing the untapped potential that women entrepreneurs bring to the table. 

Some women have chosen to step into traditionally male dominated industries, challenging stereotypes and reshaping perceptions. Tech entrepreneur Kathryn Parsons, co-founder of Decoded, played a pivotal role in demystifying coding and making it accessible to people of all backgrounds. Breaking into a field largely dominated by men, Parsons is a testament to the transformative power of women forging their paths in unconventional sectors. 

Collaboration has proven to be a key driver of success for many female entrepreneurs. Alice Bentinck and Anna Bance, co-founders of Entrepreneur First, created a platform that brings together aspiring tech founders, fostering a collaborative environment that thrives on diversity. By providing a space for women to connect, collaborate, and innovate, Entrepreneur First has become a launching pad for numerous successful startups. 

The success stories of female entrepreneurs in the UK are not just individual victories; they are building legacies that inspire future generations. Dame Mary Perkins, co-founder of Specsavers, revolutionised the eyewear industry and continues to empower women through philanthropy and mentorship. Her journey exemplifies the lasting impact that female entrepreneurs can have, not only on their industries but on society as a whole. 

And so to Ebonstone’s esteemed entrepreneurs, Marie-Claire Haines and Judith Barrass. Having both worked in governance in different corporate environments, they formed a new, like minded approach to delivering bespoke, effective, ethical and embedded process to an organisations’ governance and cosec function, where clients recognise genuine value and challenge to what ‘good’ should look like. They apply this ethos to their own business journey, putting people and positive culture at the forefront of the adventure whilst working towards their destination.  

Each year, the landscape of female entrepreneurship in the UK is evolving and looking evermore positive, with women overcoming obstacles, breaking moulds, and leaving an indelible mark on various industries. These entrepreneurs serve as beacons of inspiration, proving that success knows no gender. As the UK continues to champion diversity and inclusivity in business, the stories of these remarkable women will undoubtedly inspire others to dream big, break boundaries, and redefine success on their terms. 

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