Calling all female entrepreneurs!

By Dianne Cornes, Director - Network Expansion, Youth Business International

During Global Entrepreneurship Week Mosaic added a new initiative to its work, which focuses on inspiring young people from deprived communities to realise their talents and potential.

It launched a new Female Entrepreneurs Network, inviting inspirational businesswomen to join the Mosaic network, and share their journeys with Mosaic’s beneficiaries, disadvantaged girls and young women.

Pinky Liliani, OBE, founder of ‘Spice Magic’ , entertained the audience with the story as to how she got started - persuading a bookstore to stock her first Indian cookery book (self published) by taking along her wok and demonstrating the recipes in person.

Her top tips for aspiring entrepreneurs emphasised:-

  • Be creative and follow your passion
  • Don’t be afraid to ask
  • Find yourself a champion!
  • Have humility

The last point is not commonly associated with entrepreneurs, but was picked up on by the second inspirational speaker, Farida Gibbs, UK founder and CEO of Gibbs S3, a $220M global recruitment consultancy.  Farida emphasised how important it is always to be learning, and that arrogance is the enemy to achievement.  But self confidence, a belief in your own abilities, is key. Farida set up and grew her business at the same time as looking after a young child as single parent after a difficult divorce. Hard work clearly was not an option - she explained that she would get up at 5am and work frequently till 3am so as to manage to have time with her daughter. Farida was helped on her way by Barclays Bank, who offered her the chance to pitch for a vital contract as she was getting started - showing how big business really can make such a difference to entrepreneurs (even leaving aside that Barclays are also sponsors of GEW UK!).

Many of these themes were pulled together by Saba Shaukat, CEO of Vital Iconnect, a mobile services technology provider, who is leading the development of the Female Entrepreneurs Network.

Overall, an exciting new venture to help more girls and young women in starting up their own business.

About Mosaic
Founded by HRH The Prince of Wales in 2007, Mosaic’s mission is to create opportunities for young people of all backgrounds growing up in the UK’s most deprived communities, championed by Muslims and harnessing the power of positive thinking. In doing so, they also aim to increase opportunities for understanding between people of different backgrounds.

Photo shows left to right:
Pinky Liliani, Saba Shaukat, Farida Gibbs, Dianne Cornes, Yasmin Waljee, Vice Chair of Mosaic, and Shabir Randeree, Chairman of Mosaic