Today marks 100 years since women were afforded the right to vote, in the UK. The Representation of the People Act was adopted in February 1918, eventually paving the way for universal women’s suffrage in the country. And since then, women have been driving our nations, our business economies, our communities forward. And how incredible to think that the UK was the 3rd nation in the list to adopt Votes For All with New Zealand leading the pace in 1893, and Saudi Arabia only taking that step in 2010.
According to a study run by education technology non-profit Foudners4Schools, in 2016 there were 762 companies with female leadership that generated revenues of between £1m and £250m annually, and, at the time, were growing by at least 20% a year. Statistics that have surely grown since then.
So, on this remarkable and historic day, we salute 4 powerful women-led businesses and their leaders, who, today, are making their own mark on their business communities and driving innovation, creativity and economies forward – much like Emmeline Pankhurst did all those years ago.
Holly Tucker & Sophie Cornish
In 2006, Holly and Sophie launched notonthehighstreet.com, which has since grown to be one of the most high-profile online businesses in the UK. Notonthehighstreet.com now brings together more than 3,500 independent designers and features more than 70,000 products. The two have been the recipients of over 24 awards, and both were awarded an MBE for services to small business and enterprise in 2013.
Founded in 2014, Kate saw a need and made a plan. Maven, a women’s health app, was created that connects you with doctors via video chat and allows you to ask questions, get advice, and even receive prescriptions when necessary. Sparked out of noticing how many of her colleagues and friends were having trouble to find the right doctor, she decided to create Maven which allows users to connect with doctors, nurse practitioners and mental health experts when they need them.
Just over a year old, Susannah’s Flip platform is certainly one to watch. Flip was designed to allow tenants to list available space and find sub-letters. Similar to Airbnb, Flip lets the property hosts create a listing and add photos and information that give potential sub-letters a bigger picture of what to expect. Once they’ve expressed interest in a property, Flip sends a notice to the landlord. Complete with credit checks and recommendations that indicate the right fit between tenants and submitters, Flip becomes an “advocate, assistant and housing expert, all rolled into one.”
Natalie is the co-founder of A Very Good Company, a social innovation agency that helps employees become better engaged in sustainability initiatives. Founded with her business partner Melanie, A Very Good Company believe that it is possible to create a world where everyone can feel good, do good and live better. They are a network of strategists, designers, project managers and social entrepreneurs who design, deliver and evaluate strategies that enable their clients to achieve their community investment, supply chain improvement or social responsibility objectives. Clients include Virgin Media, M&S and Channel 4.