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Ritika Bajaj, founder of MeritC2 - Creatives and Communications Ritika Bajaj shares with The NextWomen her top seven key tools for entrepreneurial success, drawing on her own experiences of starting up her own enterprise, design and content house MeritC2 - Creatives and Communications

Hashtag Collective was born in the leafy suburbs of North LondonAdele Woodthorpe of Woodthorpe Comms introduces Lorraine White of Hashtag Collective; a new men’s fashion brand, that gives emerging designers and artists a place to showcase their talent. Founded by husband and wife team Paul and Lorraine White, The Hashtag emblem represents strength, confidence and individualism.

My husband and I met at university and entered adulthood together! We know each other inside out.  Two years ago, my husband and I decided that we would enter into business together.

In the autumn of 2011, we put our minds together and over a cup of tea, we came up with the concept of a business venture that we would enter into together.  That day was the beginning of our journey as entrepreneurs and more specifically as business partners.

Style has always been an integral part of both our lives. More specifically, quality, tailoring, and customer service have always been fundamental to clothing and style purchases we make and we like to blend key designer pieces with high-end quality high-street pieces for our ‘go-to’ looks. This is what inspired us to start our own brand that focuses on doing just that.

Lara Morgan, Founder of Pacific Direct Ltd and Co-Founder of Company ShortcutsLara Morgan began her career when she was just eighteen. Four years later she founded her first business, Pacific Direct Ltd. A keen entrepreneur, Lara is also the Co-Founder of Company Shortcuts.

Georgina-Kate Adams, Founder of The Seed, Africa,with a girl whose education was funded through the project. Megan Foo of The NextWomen examines the issue of the lack of access to education for girls in developing countries. Megan talks to Georgina-Kate Adams, Founder of crowdfunding project The Seed, Africa, regarding the impact of educating girls through crowdfunding.

Lana Larder of The NextWomen considers the importance of identifying and protecting your company’s most valuable assets, discussing the issue with Mary Juetten, founder of Traklight, a software product which helps business owners protect their ideas.

Tigist and Haimanot DamtewAndrea Kolb of The Next Women meets Tigist and Haimanot Damtew from Ethiopia, founders of jewelry design company T&H Designs, who were trained in the trade by the NGO Gemini Trust. Andrea herself is the founder of social fashion brand ABURY, one of the companies through which pieces of jewelry from T&H Designs are sold.

Tigist and Haimanot Damtew are twins. Already this fact would be worth a whole story, seeing that twins in a country like Ethiopia are rarely to be found. For poor families like the Damtew’s, who also have another three children, twins are twice the burden. They often get separated, or only one of the two children survives their early childhood.

More innovative financing options, such as crowdfunding, are now available to entrepreneurs worldwide. A new breed of entrepreneurs is emerging.

Akosua Dardaine Edwards, founder of the Enabling Enterprise Project, examines some of the recent trends within entrepreneurship, considering the rise in female entrepreneurs, the increasing and more innovative financing methods available, and the rise of social entrepreneurship.

Over the last decade, entrepreneurship has come to the fore, not simply as a means of job creation and reviving the economy, but also as a means of introducing new ways of thinking and problem solving. Some experts have also suggested that entrepreneurship ought to be a way of life.

"Think of every stumble as a learning experience and enjoy the ride!"Cat Purvis is one of the NextAdvisors signed up to advise our community in our Business Advice Programme.

Cat is the Founder of Exicon, a cloud platform for App and API Managment, with global clients including Handset manufacturers, Operators, Brands & Enterprises. It is a 2012 Red Herring 100 Global tech companies winner. 

During her career, Cat has built companies, teams and divisions all over the world, in the UK and US as well as in China where she was based for 5 years. Previous roles include COO at Icon Medialab and GM at a start up in Beijing which was later sold to a global player. She set up Exicon in 2001 and specialises in mobile and internet.

Born and raised in China, Cat is truly an international woman. Fluent in English, French, Mandarin and German she has lived, worked and studied in many places. A firm believer in the power of education, she studied Management and Statistics at St Andrews University and also a Diploma in Marketing and qualifications in Process Re-engineering.

Cat is ready to start advising you on your business. For more details on The Business Advice Programme and to sign up, click here

Melanie Richards, Founder of CSR Solutions Limited

Akosua Edwards talks to Melanie Richards about CSR Solutions, a Caribbean based business focused on Sustainability and Social Responsibility and the importance of these issues in both Business and Society. 

Captain Sustainability to the rescue……

Melanie Richards is the founder and principal consultant of CSR Solutions Limited. A business, based in Trinidad and Tobago, which specializes in social responsibility and sustainability. CSR Solutions Limited must be one of the first of its kind within the Caribbean region, seeking to help organisations to be more socially and environmentally responsible, and to understand and address the important role that they play in society.

Ingrid Vanderveldt, the Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Dell.Katerina Zherebtsova of The NextWomen interviews Ingrid Vanderveldt, the Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Dell.