January 23, 2019, by Liz Cass
My business my way
MyBusinessMyWay took place at the University of Nottingham’s Jubilee Campus on Thursday 17 January, open to women and men at all levels of business.
It saw the launch of a toolkit, built on research by Dr Isobel O’Neil, of the University’s Business School, and designed to help women define their own success in a move away from what Dr O’Neil calls the existing ‘rules of the game’.
She said: “Through my research into issues of identities, authenticity and legitimacy within the female entrepreneurship landscape, I witnessed a refreshed way of being a women in business and a strong rejection of “faking it to you make it” type approaches. I found many women keen to move away from the norms associated with the pale, male and stale version of being an entrepreneur.
“Women told us they initially felt the pressure as early stage entrepreneurs to strive for things they didn’t necessarily want, without significant reflection about what would work for them. One example was an entrepreneur who told us how she thought success meant growing her business and taking on more staff but she came to realise that it was about making a living by owning a business she was passionate about i.e. doing it her way. By developing this toolkit we seek to support women to be confident a
bout finding their way of being an entrepreneur – whatever that might look like.”
Working with Nottingham-based entrepreneurs Alex Hardwick, Debbie Clarke and Sarah King, Dr O’Neil co-created this toolkit to help women develop their own rules by engaging with a range of interactive tools to consider and evaluate the things that are important to them both professionally and personally.
The launch event gave entrepreneurs the chance to use the toolkit, hear from other entrepreneurs and network with others interested in issues relating to women in business.