“My father always taught me to knock on doors to win business.”

Even though women constitute 52% of the total European population (there are more women than men in Europe), female entrepreneurs represent only 34.4% of the EU self-employed and 30% of start-up entrepreneurs. When establishing and running a business, women face challenges such as: access to finance, access to information, training, access to networks for business purposes, and reconciling business and family concerns. These factors make it harder for entrepreneurship to be as attractive an option for women as it is for men, making someone like Emma Sinclair – British businesswoman, serial entrepreneur and journalist – all the more admirable.

There are many reasons everyone should be impressed by Emma Sinclair, but below are a couple to get us started:

  1. She didn’t initially study business. Instead, she studied French, Spanish and Italian at Leeds University, graduating with a BA in Modern Languages. (It’s true that upon leaving university she joined a graduate training programme in Investment Banking, but that doesn’t make her BA any less valuable).
  2. Emma is the youngest person in the world to have floated a company, doing so at 29 on the London Stock Exchange (the year was 2005 and the property investment company was Mission Capital).
  3. A serial entrepreneur, she now co-leads global software company EnterpriseAlumni. Their software powers the corporate alumni networks of some of the world’s largest companies. One of the last areas of Human Resources to be technologized, the corporate alumni market they lead is growing rapidly, with corporates recognising that alumni are a vast pool of talent and business development opportunity.
  4. She is a regular business commentator in the media. Her knowledge and experience have led to her being regularly chosen as a commentator on business, entrepreneurship, politics, diversity and innovation. (In fact, 2012 saw her becoming one of the six women chosen to launch The Telegraph’s bi-weekly Wonder Women business column).
  5. She’s been UNICEF’S Business Advisor since 2014 (and in 2017, she launched UNICEFs first crowd fund to roll out innovation labs in refugee camps).
  6. Finally, 2016 saw her being awarded an MBE by the Queen of England for Services to Entrepreneurship. (Impressive).

Emma Sinclair is thus, definitively and without a doubt, a person to admire. Also, she’s vegan.

Image in header by Clark Tibbs on Unsplash.com