WHITE-HOT TAKES FROM THE DRAGON’S LAIR: JENNY CAMPBELL


13 April '21

3 minute read

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When Jenny Campbell stepped into our office, we had a not-so-sneaky suspicion she was going to set it alight. And wow, the inimitable ex-Dragon and YourCash founder delivered.

The chat was all part of our ongoing, never-ending celebration of female leaders and entrepreneurs, and with #ChooseToChallenge as this year’s International Women’s Day theme, who better to welcome along?

Jenny’s entrepreneurial journey is one to be inspired by. From the age of 16, working in her local bank branch she overcame challenges, took necessary risks and pushed for what she wanted when needed.

After being treated to 90 minutes of explosive advice and stories, here are a few nuggets and snippets to take away. Or watch the whole thing below.

NEVER SETTLE FOR “GRADE B”

“If it’s worth fighting for, always ask “why?”. Grit your teeth. Challenge things in the right way. Make change happen.”

SPEND YOUR TIME WITH THE RIGHT PEOPLE

Surround yourself with people who share your hunger and values. People who have the courage to tell it like it is and appreciate the same in return.

That starts in your team and goes all the way through to your advisers.

“Your accountant, your lawyer, your HR people – they’re some of the most important people around you. And if you’ve got a good accountant that understands entrepreneurs, that will open doors, especially in areas like getting funding.”

YOU HAVE TO MAKE THINGS HAPPEN FOR YOURSELF

When did Jenny get the call to join Dragon’s Den? Never. She made the call. If you want things to happen you have to go out there and do it yourself.

“MENTOR” IS A BUZZWORD

“It doesn’t have to be that formal. But it is so important that you have someone you can open up to. Someone who you can trust to give you wise words in a confidential way. Someone who can let you let your hair down.

“Entrepreneurship can be a lonely place. So, if you’re a young, prospective entrepreneur, learn what the role involves by gaining experience at a fast-growing business first.”

SMASH THE STATUS QUO

Jenny’s top tip for female entrepreneurs?

“Lose the female badge. You’re an entrepreneur, gender doesn’t matter. Believe in yourself. Aim high. Be brave. Ask for more.

“Entrepreneurialism is alive and kicking in the UK. There’s no such thing as glass ceilings, only sticky floors. And the female-dominated division of parenthood is a cultural thing – it’s not the same everywhere around the world.”

So, again, make change happen. #ChooseToChallenge.

BE BRAVE LADIES

Research suggests female entrepreneurs are less likely to go outside of traditional bank finance for funding. Girls, be brave and get out there!

DON’T PANIC

When you face hurdles, you end up with scars on your back which make you more and more resilient.

JENNY CAMPBELL, LIVE LOUNGE FULL INTERVIEW

The importance of surrounding yourself with the right people, challenging when needed and dropping the ‘female’ badge from ‘female entrepreneur’. Watch the whole interview below: