Entrepreneurial insights from our panel of female founders


Starting a business is a journey filled with highs, lows, and countless learning experiences. At our International Women’s Day event in March, we heard from four inspiring female founders in our panel who shared their insights, challenges, and successes. Watch the video or keep scrolling to read what they shared ⬇️

Meet our panel of female founders

🧪 Abi, founder of LitLabLondon, which holds Science & Sip pop-up events in London.

🍫 Amarachi, founder of Lucocoa, London’s first bean-to-bar chocolate company.

💡 Thalia, founder of Sparkle Lighting, an online store offering pretty decorative lights for your home and garden.

❄️ Keri, founder of Snow Windows, which creates bespoke art pieces for clients using snow spray at Christmas.

Abi’s Female Founder Journey: Embracing the challenges of solopreneurship 🙌

Abi is the earliest in her business having just completed her first year. She highlighted the unique experience of being a solopreneur, where every aspect of the business falls on her shoulders. Despite the challenges, she finds fulfilment in owning both the victories and setbacks. As she aptly put it, “All of the wins are yours, but all of the challenges are yours too”. Abi emphasised the importance of celebrating small wins, and for her, that includes press coverage she’s received, including Time Out and Secret London. 

Whilst running her own business, Abi also works full time. When asked if she’s aiming to turn LitLabLondon into her full-time job, she said “I’m not sure yet. I don’t think it has to be one or the other. My business is currently a pop-up, so I’ve kind of built-in that flexibility for it to work around me in some ways”. While Abi wants to continue with both, she has built flexibility in both to be able to manage them. “I say don’t quit your day job if that’s not what you’re wanting to do. It’s not an absolute requirement and a lot of the skills you learn will support you [in your business] and vice versa. And of course, the funding comes from somewhere. So I think if you are in a position where you can do both, and it feels okay to you, then I’d encourage that.”

Amarachi’s Insights: How a clear purpose can help overcome challenges 💪

When Amarachi first started Lucocoa nine years ago, she started like many founders do – in her bedroom. “When you talk about bootstrapping, this is the ultimate bootstrapping. I taught myself how to make chocolate. I converted my second bedroom in our two-bedroom flat into a chocolate factory”. She first launched at a chocolate show in Islington and sold out! Amarachi spent the next 2 years at Brick Lane Market, getting feedback and tweaking her product range. Her business is now a global brand with a factory in the UK and another in South Africa!

People think of businesses being an overnight success but more often than not, ‘overnight’ is actually years of hard work behind the scenes. 

When talking about what keeps her going when she faces challenges or setbacks, Amarachi said having a strong sense of purpose is important.“If you haven’t got that purpose, it’s really easy to let the lows really stick with you. So the fact that we’re talking about child and slave labour, the fact that we’re talking about building a proper supply chain, and all those sorts of things, it kind of makes those lows kind of a wash because you’re like I’m doing this for a bigger purpose”.

Thalia’s Perspective: Leveraging mentorship and digital skills for growth 📈

Thalia, is four years into her business journey and says one of her biggest challenges is stepping out of the day-to-day of the business. Founders are in the unique position of being responsible for the strategy and for executing every single part of it. Being able to take a step back and evaluate the business can be difficult. “To start with, there’s a lot of excitement and energy about growing your Instagram and getting people to the site, but as you get a little bit bigger, you have to really work out how it’s working”. Thalia has worked with mentors from Digital Boost, including our Financial Director, Gemma, who’s been helping her with her projections. 

Thalia saw a lot of press coverage and an opportunity came up as her products were used in TV shows, including The Only Way Is Essex, Made In Chelsea, Married at First Sight, and the new Star Wars (we’ll be keeping our eyes peeled for that!). She’s also received commercial orders from bars and restaurants, which she says came from her Google Ads, which her Digital Boost mentor, Tom, has been helping her with.  

“When I get stuck now, I think about who I need to talk to and discuss that with someone who’s really experienced in that area. When you talk about getting stuck and feeling low, you start to realise maybe I need to get some help. I think mentoring has been really amazing.”

Keri’s Founder Experience: Turning a hobby into a global sensation 🤩

Also on our panel of female founders was Keri, who is in the 9th year of the business she started with her husband Tom. She spoke about how compliments from friends and family on her husband’s designs on their windows at home led to her thinking this could be a business. It shows that a business idea really can come from anywhere! Keri asked on her Facebook if anyone would be interested and came back a few hours later to over 800 comments!

In their first year, they had enquiries from the Empire State Building (yes, really!) and a double-page spread in the Daily Mail. The business has continued to grow and has had over 250 million impressions on Facebook alone! Keri saw all the attention and people interested in the business and thought ‘What do I do with that? How do I sell to these people, how do I grow the business, how do I build Tom as the number one snow spray artist in the world?’. That’s where Digital Boost came in! As well as getting support with her digital marketing strategy, Keri found the community she’d be longing for. 

“The hardest thing about being a female entrepreneur is the loneliness. I don’t have anyone to talk to, and there’s no community. And for me, that’s what Digital Boost has created – that community of really diverse, interesting people.”


We’re so grateful to these four female founders for taking part in our panel discussion! Even though they all have unique businesses, they also have common experiences. They all talked about the importance of celebrating your wins, the need for community and guidance, and how their passion keeps them going.

At Digital Boost, we’re here to support entrepreneurs with every aspect of starting, growing, and running a business. Whether you need help with something specific, want to bounce ideas off someone, or want to connect with other founders for peer support – we’ve got you covered! Find out more about how our small business mentoring can support you 🤩

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