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We are so excited about the relaunch of our Business Advice Programme and all the amazing NextAdvisors we have lined up, ready to give you the expertise you need to make your business fly! Amongst them is Polly Gowers, CEO and Founder of Everyclick and one of the best connected women in British business! 

To celebrate and showcase the wonderful high profile entrepreneurs, investors and experts who have signed up to provide advice to our community, we'll be publishing articles and interiews with them from the archives.

Here is our interview with Polly Gowers from 2011.

For more details on The Business Advice Programme and to sign up, click here. 

Polly Gowers is CEO and Founder of Everyclick, which has recently launched its Give As You Live service. Give as you Live lets internet users raise funds for their chosen charities for free as they shop online. With every purchase a consumer makes from 1,300 leading retailers, a donation is made to any of the UK’s 220,000 charities, as chosen by the shopper.

To date, over £2m has been disbursed to a wide range of charities through Everyclick’s technology platform.

Polly has been shortlisted for Director magazine’s Best Connected Women in British Business competition, alongside names such as Martha Lane Fox and Sarah Browne.

This is what Polly had to say when we interviewed her:

 

Our new blogger Wendy Tan WhiteWe are absolutely delighted to announce Wendy Tan White as the most recent addition to our community of regular bloggers. Wendy is the co-founder and CEO of Moonfruit, which was recently acquired by Yell group (recently re-branded Hibu) in a deal worth $37m. She is a 500 Startups mentor and was named female UK Tech Entrepreneur of the Year 2011. Welcome onboard Wendy!

Something caught my eye recently: an appearance by someone called Steve Moxon before a Commons select committee as part of an inquiry into women in the workplace. He is the author of a book called “The Women Racket” and that perhaps gives you a clue as to his point of view.

Guest article by Marilyn Ringo, ex-CNN News Anchor, now a communications coach.

Women are the better communicators.  At least that’s what social scientists tell us.  As the great 21st century philosopher, Lady Gaga says, “Ladies you were born this way!”

Yet when it comes to business communications, women sometimes find that we’re not as effective or confident as we’d like to be.  How can we communicate in a way that is credible, confident, and harnesses our strengths as women? How can we communicate in a way that moves and influences people?

When trying to sell your business idea or product; when conducting a meeting or teleconference; when delivering a presentation or when rallying the troops, there are three keys to effective leadership communication:

  • Focus your message so you are clear, credible and memorable.
  • Deliver your message in a style that confidently connects.
  • Handle Q&A with authority.

Of course, these are not exclusive to women. 

These are fundamentals to great spoken communication for everyone. But there are some issues around these fundamentals that pop up for women in particular.

BlogHer Founders (L-R) Lisa Stone, Jory DesJardins & Elisa Camahort I had the pleasure of interviewing Elisa Camahort Page, Co-Founder & COO of BlogHer, at the annual BlogHer conference this summer.

With 50 million unique visitors per month, BlogHer is the largest community of women who blog.

LG: What advice would you give entrepreneur just starting out in this industry? (I ask every interviewee this same question, love the replies – helps a great deal!) 

EMC: 

Firstly, understand your passion, and what's valuable about it. Because you'll be working as hard as you've ever worked in your life...it better be about something you're intensely passionate about. 

Every success has its owners, and today I am proud that I can share a success with you that I feel our company contributed to. Improve Digital came -only 2 years ago- to one of our Pitch events in London, to seek outside investors and now they have been acquired by a Swiss listed company. Great!

Improve Digital, was founded by two ambitious female founders, Janneke Niessen and Joelle Frijters, we showed them during our Pitch event what it takes to get outside funding and we interviewed them at the time when they sought their first round of funding. They also became part of the Astia network.

As European provider of sell-side platform (SSP) technology and services, Improve Digital has now signed a strategic agreement with Swiss-based PubliGroupe, a provider of marketing and media sales services.

Guest post by Louise Donnelly-Davey, serial entrepreneur and Founder of Scrattch, a platform which seeks to streamline the way users search, store and share the vast amount of information accessed each day across the internet through the application of an online virtual filing system. Scrattch has just been named in the GEW 50, a list of the world's 50 most innovative new companies, compiled by the Global Entrepreneurship Week as part of the Startup Open, a competition that recognizes startups with high-growth potential.

We were thrilled to be named in the GEW 50 last week as one of the only companies from New Zealand featured. 

I had the idea for Scrattch over 12 months ago and have been working on it ever since. I have since added two new co-founders (developers) to the team and we are set for launch at the end of this month. 

Before having children (I now have three aged ten and under) I spent a fair bit of time at University. I don’t think I really ever knew exactly what I wanted to do or be. Nothing seemed to fit. I ended up with qualifications in Criminology, Education and Public Policy after spending a total of 6 years at Uni. I then went on to work for various corporates, none of which provided me with any significant fulfillment. 

After the birth of my second child I started my first real business, a clothing design company. We did well and after reaching an international market I decided that the overheads were far too high and that this particular venture, although fun, was never going to enable myself and my family to be financially secure.

With all the doom in Europe, about the crisis, I think it's important to note that there are companies that are optimistic and growing. One of them is Notonthehighstreet (UK), an e-tailing platform for online retailers. The company was started some six years ago by Holly Tucker and Sophie Cornish, two female entrepreneurs with a media and marketing background, and we have covered their success in our own online magazine from the start, for example when they won multiple awards.

Funding Heroes

The company has always been very ambitious in its plans, and as they follow the 'motto', 'the winner takes all', they use outside funding to scale fast. Just before the summer they raised another round of funding, series D to be precise, and so I thought it's time to see what they are up to.

The funding round was £10mn (€12.4mn) in a Late Stage round led by Fidelity Growth Partners Europe with participation by Greylock and Index Ventures.This makes the full amount of funding close to 30 million US$, and that's really something that is remarkable. So what makes them so succesful?

Last week Birchbox the US sample-box subscription service acquired the European based Joliebox. Time to tell you the succesful story of two young female founders and to understand their growth strategy.

Rolemodels for the new generation of female founders, Hayley Barna and Katia Beauchamp (photo), graduated from Harvard Business School in 2010, and started the company right after that, so the company is not yet 3 years old! With Birchbook they hit the newest coolest thing: e-commerce online subbscription service

In building & growing Birchbox, Hayley & Katia put in practice some valuable theory learned at Harvard: build, borrow or buy?

First they defined their brand, this is their elevator pitch:

Launched in 2010, Birchbox is the discovery commerce platform redefining the retail process by offering consumers a personalized way to discover, sample, shop and learn about the best products and brands available. Birchbox members have first-touch experiences with products each month and access to educational content to help them get the most out of their products.

An exclusive interview with Annelies van den Belt, a female force to be reckoned with in the Digital world. She currently leads, as CEO, Russia’s fastest growing online news company and was named Media Momentum Women of the Year 2012 at the prestigious GP Bullhound Summit 2012. What a way to end our August Editorial Theme of BRIC Countries!

It seemed a great time to publish this piece by Leah Eichler, Founder of Femme-O-Nomics, about Sheryl Sandberg, who last week was announced as the first woman on the Facebook board.

It’s been a big week for Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, often credited for increasing the social network’s revenue and growing their user base exponentially in the years since CEO Mark Zuckerberg whisked her away from Google.