2017 marks the 40th year since 8 March was designated International Women’s Day. As this year’s theme, #BeBoldForChange, is all about creating a more equal working world we thought it was the perfect time to bring you the top five female-run startups to watch this year.
Aurelia was founded in 2013 by Claire Vero, who had no previous experience in the cosmetics.
With so much competition in the health and beauty sector, particularly in skincare and makeup brands, you wouldn’t expect such a young company to have made much of a splash, but Vero and Aurelia have already won over 50 awards.
Vero has talked openly and honestly about how difficult she found things when Aurelia first launched. These days she says she works three ‘very long’ hours each week and just remains contactable the rest of the time – “I haven’t had a better work/life balance so far since I started my career.”
Buzzmove is around the same age as Aurelia, having launched at the tail end of 2013. The website allows customers to compare the cost of different removal companies when they’re moving house – founder Becky Downing has called it ‘the Moneysupermarket of the removal industry’.
The site has already helped thousands of people move since its launch, and is aiming for a seven figure turnover this year. It’s not surprising how much of a splash Buzzmove have made, given that their closest competitor, Unpakt.com, only operate in the US at the moment.
Downing exudes confidence when explaining the value of Buzzmove, saying of her company “I promise you, Buzzmove will become synonymous with moving home”.
You might not think peanut butter would be a source of inspiration, but that’s exactly what happened to Pip Murray. As a marathon enthusiast, she often found herself eating peanut butter after training for its high levels of protein and healthy fats.
However, given the additives in a lot of peanut butter brands – and the fact that peanut butter can get a bit boring after a while – Murray decided to create a more natural product and aim it particularly at a younger demographic.
Launched in 2015, Pip & Nut sell six different flavours of nut butter, available as jars and handy squeeze packets for when you need that quick energy boost. They’ve already announced plans for exciting new product development this year, and have aims to be “the nation’s favourite health food brand.”
Emily Forbes launched her video collaboration platform in 2014, aiming to help businesses engage with customers, employees, influencers and experts. Seenit lets people collaborate on videos using clips from their smartphones to create ‘unique video experiences’.
In the last three years, Seenit has gathered an impressive roster of clients, including the BBC, Adidas, Heineken, BT Sport, Expedia, Rolls Royce and Red Bull. They've had over 64,000 people involved with their videos, which have reached an estimated 17 million people.
Seenit was a finalist for App of the Year in last year’s Startups Awards, who praised it for its ‘huge global potential’ and for being a ‘truly novel concept.’
MyShowcase is a disrupter in not one but two markets – beauty and direct selling. It’s a personal beauty shopping service, founded by Nancy Cruickshank in 2012, which has an online presence as well as a network of direct sellers, known as 'stylists'.
The startup now has over 1,400 stylists, who’re given in depth training before they begin selling, and works with 56 independent brands. Cruickshank aims to “empower women to become entrepreneurs” by giving stylists the flexibility to work as and when they want. Not only that, but with many independent beauty brands funded by women, her platform gives them access to customers they might otherwise struggle to find.
And despite MyShowcase’s ambitious plans for 2017, Cruickshank herself works as a mentor for all her stylists, running training sessions and workshops to inspire women to start and grow their own business.
How will you be celebrating International Women’s Day? Let us know in the comments.
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