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Felena Hanson is the Founder of Hera Hub, a collaborative co-working space for women, which is the first co-working space to franchise. Felena Hanson shares with The NextWomen the key lessons she learned through her experience of franchising her business, Hera Hub, explaining the steps it takes to launch a franchise, and the factors to consider when embarking on this process.

It is one thing to build a business, but it is entirely another thing to build something that can be replicated hundreds of times. In the following article, I will share my experience in franchising and the steps it takes to launch a franchise.

Rachelle Smith, Entrepreneur and Founder of Positive Creative Infusion Consulting LLC.   Rachelle Smith chose to leave a successful career in the Biotechnology industry in order to start up her own business. She talks to The NextWomen about how the decision to take this risk and pursue her entrepreneurial dreams has changed her life, and has also given her the confidence to inspire others.

Very few individuals have the courage to walk away from a highly lucrative career to venture into the unknown. It was a big risk, but I did, and haven’t looked back. 

It hasn’t been easy. I voluntarily left a fruitful sales career in the Biotechnology industry and started my business in early 2012. 

Working From Home

Adele Woodthorpe explains what to consider when deciding on the most cost-effective and practical office space for your business and shares her own experiences of the choices and compromises she has made for her PR Company, Woodthorpe Comms.

For many small businesses, whether making the transition from working from the kitchen table to having a proper office, or merely upgrading their current office space, this is generally one of the biggest hurdles to tackle and one of the main overheads to consider. Obviously, there are quite a few elements to bear in mind when deciding on the ideal office space for your business, so I’ve listed a few which I feel are key.

Jedeco black and white jewelleryCoral Turner looks at the benefits of joint ventures and what to consider before joining forces with someone else.

Firstly, I would like to open this start-up diary conversation by saying a huge thank you to those of you who have read my previous articles and taken time out of your own busy schedules to give me the thumbs up on Facebook, send me personal emails, or share on Twitter. Anyone that says that women don’t support each other clearly has not met you kind ladies.

Which brings me to the topic of joint ventures; working with others within your industry and supporting and uplifting each other, resulting in double exposure and a win/win situation for all involved.

The fashion industry consists of many facets of business; hair, make-up, shoes, jewellery and handbags, to name but a few.  My recent venture was to join forces with a jewellery collective called Jedeco; an independent boutique comprising of 9 jewellers.  

One of the jewellers, my friend and fellow entrepreneur Catherine Marche, suggested that as Jedeco had just celebrated their first anniversary and London Fashion week was upon us, we should continue the celebrations by showcasing my one-of-a-kind couture dresses and tops at their premises in Oxo Tower Wharf. 

As the CEO and Curator of MAH, Ondina Montgomery works with a broad range of artists, designers and photographers In a tribute to US mythologist and writer Joseph Campbell, who asserted that all mythical heroes experience the same 12 steps on their adventures, Ondina Montgomery draws parallels between Campbell’s Hero’s Journey and that of the entrepreneur.

Part 3 of the Hero's Journey describes the protagonist's Refusal of the call, where the hero attempts to refuse the adventure because she is afraid. Click here to read the second part of Ondina’s series, The Hero’s Journey Part II: Call to Adventure.

Image to accompany Krissy Charles-Jones article for The NextWomenIn December 2011 Krissy Charles-Jones, Founder and CEO of Bright Assessing, launched a Government funded course helping those who were unemployed to retrain to get back into employment. Despite the amazing work being done to help the unemployed, Bright nearly lost everything due to a Government subcontractor. Female Entrepreneurs are fantastically strong women and Krissy Charles-Jones wasn’t about to go down without a fight…

We spoke to Krissy about why it hasn’t always been easy, how to overcome the challenges and move on.

Anita Skinner, Founder of Not So Skinny BitchAnita Skinner is a Publisher and lives in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada with her husband, Dan. She previously owned a magazine called Niagara Life, which she sold in 2004 to a large Canadian media conglomerate – Torstar, despite having had no formal training in the publishing industry. She started her publishing life by producing a small newsletter, called The Downtowner, for a residents’ association she started in 1984.

Anita spoke to The NextWomen about her new venture: Not So Skinny Bitch which provides stylish, comfortable, practical women's plus size sports wear.

Britt Hogue talks to The NextWomen about how she learned to pivot her business modelBritt Hogue talks to The NextWomen about the surprising circumstances in which she was taught to pivot her business model.

Since I left the corporate world to design and implement organizational strategies for non-profits, I’ve sometimes found it difficult to separate my personal life from my work. I imagine that’s what happens when you indulge a passion and find a way to blend it with something you’re good at; marrying your personal and professional motivations into a full-time business initiative. Still, I’ve always been careful about sharing too much of my personal story at work, so I am cringing as I write this article.

Despite all of that, sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly is the very nature of the Startup Diaries, so I embrace my discomfort as I impart how my ex taught me how to pivot my business model.

We all have things that we've learned from our exes - most of which fall into the category of: Things I'll Never Do Again. Believe it or not, I learned the art of the pivot from one of my ex-boyfriends back in 2005 - long before pivoting had become the hottest trend in business strategy and the "P" word was rolling off the tongues of everyone from Eric Ries to President Obama. I think I counted it used 22 times on MSNBC's ‘Morning Joe’ a few weeks ago. Fast Company even ruled Detroit’s bankruptcy filing as a well-manoeuvred pivot. And even as I'm hearing it all around me as the new must-do in business, I don't think I would have been as willing to consider a fairly drastic change to my own startup had I not witnessed it up close and personal almost a decade ago.

Misty Gibbs, creator of the Hype This Track appMisty Gibbs talks to The NextWomen about the inspiration for starting her own business and the creation of her app Hype This Track. 

I’ve always loved businesses. I love the idea of coming up with an idea and researching and refining it until you’ve created something you are proud of, and that the world can enjoy.

My first ever business plan was at age five. I decided I was going to make and sell those colorful candy-coated spinning top bubblegum. I remember working out how much I’d sell them for (five for 5c.) and writing a list of things I needed. The list was:

1. The recipe

2. An adult to help me with the oven… I just assumed you had to bake them!

I knew it would be hard finding the recipe, and thought I might have to wait until I was older before I’d ever know. This was all before Google of course. For some reason, I’ve never ever looked up the recipe. I guess I want it to stay that elusive five-year-old dream!

Leah Goold-Haws with Lawrence Umukoro, Head of entrepreneurship training in South Africa Leah Goold-Haws tells The NextWomen how putting her intentions ‘out there’ has brought her some amazing opportunities.

As I mentioned in my previous post (which you can read here) my initial entrepreneurial ventures – running my marketing firm LGH Marketing / Strategy and launching my board game, Know Opportunity – have taken me well beyond my initial expectations.

I continue to be amazed and grateful for the unique opportunities that are presented to me along the way. Most recently among these was the offer to participate in a TEDx conference as one of the presenters. My topic was on global connectivity in the 5 minute format. It was an exciting challenge and I was able to describe many of the experiences I’ve shared here on The NextWomen.