There are an increasing number of older women starting new businesses, as the preconceived barriers to seeing themselves as an entrepreneur fall away. As both Baby Boomers and early Generation Xers have grown up grasping equality with both hands, many reach a point in their careers where running their own business seems the next inevitable step. Yet, according to research by Isabelle Moore CBE, founder of Comtec and current Chair of the Association of Translation Companies, there are still twice as many men who start their own businesses as women.
This month, our MD Christine Joyce was invited to join Isabelle to appear on a panel of entrepreneurs at an Older Women in Business event, organised with the Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce. The morning also included a panel of practitioners, as well as hearing from Isabelle about her findings to date, and other guest speakers.
Christine shared her own entrepreneurial journey, her experiences starting CJAM, and how her previous skills, network of contacts, and set of circumstances, gave her the confidence and the determination to start a brand-new association management business. She explained that one opportunity led to another and today the business is thriving, with different divisions, and a team of diverse and talented people, who deliver management and marketing services to an eclectic range of organisations across the UK.
Isabella Moore’s research grew out of her personal interest in why women in the Language Service Provider (LSP) industry have greater representation as business leaders than in other sectors of industry. Her interest has led her to engage in part-time doctoral studies at Aston University Business School, exploring senior female entrepreneurship, notably how the entrepreneurial intentions of older women are triggered.
The keynote speaker was Lyn Bromley, who is the Managing Director of First Impressions, a leading consultancy which supports senior business, political and national leaders to improve their own skills across personal development, leadership, cultural transformation and world class delivery; her recent book, Trusted: The human approach to building outstanding client relationships in a digitised world was shortlisted for The Business Book Awards 2018 Judges’ Choice Award. Her passion is to help develop people to enhance their own personal skills and identity and this had a particular resonance for the audience at the event.
Commenting on the value of such events, Christine Joyce said: “It’s vital that the priceless wisdom of women business leaders is shared and explored to encourage those coming up behind us to recognise their own worth, the value of their own insights, and their inherent abilities to run successful businesses. The women speaking here all had inspiring, helpful stories to share, and advice, borne of experience, to impart; and their success speaks for itself. The softer skills that women develop throughout our lives, and the motivation we have to become entrepreneurs, can be critical to the approach we adopt in the business world, often with resounding success. Isabella Moore’s research is ground-breaking in this respect and I look forward to reading her findings in full, once her research has been completed.”