Indie Oxford members inspire the next generation of women in business for International Women’s Day

 In Indie Oxford Interviews, Inspiration

For International Women’s Day 2024, I reached out to the female-founded and women-run Independent Oxford members.

The theme for 2024 is #InspiringInclusion, so I asked them what advice they would give to the next generation of women in business as they start their journey.

Here’s what they said…

“Embrace your uniqueness, trust your instincts and never underestimate the power of perseverance. You will face challenges but with each obstacle you face there will be a lot of opportunities to learn and grow. Don’t be afraid to seek help and guidance from others and surround yourself with people who inspire you. Hold tight to your dreams, believe in your abilities. You have the creativity, resilience and determination to succeed in whatever you have a passion for.”
Sarah, business owner, Little Letterbox Learning
Little Letter Box Learning Oxfordshire Sarah
Sarah, Little Letterbox Learning
“You’ll never know if you never try, but you might always regret not trying. Fear can be used as fuel; notice when you’re in your own way and get support to help remove your barriers; there’s so much help out there and the journey is better shared. If you have purpose and passion, consistency can lead to huge fulfilment.”
Wendy, founder, Reclaim Movement
Reclaim Movement Oxford
Wendy, Reclaim Movement
“Believe in yourself always, you can achieve what you want to achieve, but be prepared for things to take time. And be nice to people, you will get the best out of others and yourself that way.”
Anna, business owner, Custom Made
Anna, Custom Made
“I would love to tell the next generation of women in business to embrace challenges as opportunities, believe in yourself, in your unique strengths, and cultivate resilience. Your journey in business is a chance to break barriers and pave the way for others. Stay determined, strong, with a focus in your local community. If you fall (and you will), get up and fight for what you believe in. Surround yourself with other powerful women, give love as you like to receive and never underestimate the impact you can make.”
Sandra, co-founder and director, Waste2Taste
Waste2Taste Oxford Sandra Ruge
Sandra, Waste2Taste
“Find your tribe. You will know your tribe because you can be yourself. Your tribe will support you, laugh with you, be honest with you and encourage your dreams and ambitions.”
Emma, founder, Ellivase Hypnobirthing
Ellivase Hypnobirth Oxford Emma Saville
Emma, Ellivase Hynobirthing
“You are capable of doing anything – you need to work hard, have thick skin and be open to any opportunity that comes your way. Sometimes things will go wrong and that’s OK. You’ll learn from it and come out stronger in the end.”
Sara, owner, Mostly Books
Mostly Books Oxford
Sarah, Mostly Books
“Do it! YOLO and all, but seriously, it’s your life and you need to do what makes you happy. I’m a 53 year old Artist-Teacher, and it has taken me far too long to believe that running my own business was possible, and that I am capable. If you really want something, do it.”
Helen, founder, ArtOxford
Art Oxford
Helen, ArtOxford
“Go for it! Running a business is just like life. It’s not always plain sailing and there will be ups and downs. Believe in yourself, trust your instinct, do your research and remember you aren’t on your own. There is a community of like minded women, navigating this journey with you and they can provide invaluable a support and sense of belonging.”
Caroline, founder and managing director, YogaVenue
yogavenue Oxford
Caroline, YogaVenue
“Be true to yourself, embrace your mistakes and continue to show up, even when you want to crawl under a rock (which is okay to do too!) Oh – and big dreams CAN come true – so dream big!”
Sally, CEO & founder, Ducky Zebra
Ducky Zebra Oxfordshire Sally Dear
Sally, Ducky Zebra
“Follow you dream and work hard at making it a reality. It pays off in the end. Then make it work for you. The journey is the most amazing experience and personal growth opportunity, so enjoy every step.”
Emma, business owner, ByEmmaJaneInteriors
Emma Jane Interiors Oxford
Emma, byEmmaJaneInteriors

“Challenge the narrative of doing things the “way things have always been done”. Think about what success means to you, it doesn’t just have to be about always growing and earning more money… it can look like anything you want it to – prioritising your wellbeing and health, working a shorter week, doing work that aligns with your values etc etc. And trust your gut – if something feels good or right, pursue it, if it doesn’t, it might not be meant for you.”

Jess, Co-founder and creative director, Woven Ink

Woven Ink
Jess, Woven Ink

For more information about International Women’s Day and national activities taking place, please click here.

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