On international women's day, students from years 7-13 had the opportunity to listen to three inspirational speakers who are all successful businesswomen. Each having their own personal stories and career journeys they taught us that your career may not always be as clear as we may think it will be. Having started off in professional jobs they each found their calling as an entrepreneur. An entrepreneur is someone who's able to adapt new ideas to a relevant marketplace. While it seems like some entrepreneurs were born that way, in truth becoming an intelligent business person is more about hard work and smart choices and using the people around you to guide and help you make some of those decisions.
The first speaker was Dr Alice Curry. Founder of Lantana Publishing. Lantana publishes children’s books by authors and illustrators of BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) heritage: These books represent and celebrate the 14% of the UK population that identifies as BAME. Lantana's books show children of different ethnicities that they deserve to see themselves in the books they read and authors of colour that their stories matter. Alice saw a gap in the industry and despite having never written her own book or having experience in publishing she decided to put herself forward and start her own publishing company for such a great purpose.
The second speaker was Katherine Murray. She also holds an MBA (with distinction) from the University of Oxford, where her studies were concentrated on finance.
Katherine grew up in school with a love for Science and maths and studied Molecular Biology and biochemistry at university. After jobs in the Science sector, she found herself wanting to further her studies in maths. She now holds an MBA (with distinction) from the University of Oxford, where her studies were concentrated on finance.
After working in finance she had an encounter with a solicitor and found a passion for law. She then decided to take a law degree and is now a qualified solicitor with eight years' experience at leading international law firms. Katherine is now a successful businesswoman with her own law firm. Her consulting practice works with private equity, venture capital funds and their portfolio companies. Katherine She has extensive experience in acting for private equity, venture and special situations funds on a wide range of M&A and investment matters.
Our third speaker was Sherry Coutu, a true inspiring woman. Sherry Coutu is a serial entrepreneur and angel investor who serves on the boards of companies, charities, and universities. She chairs Founders4Schools, Workfinder, and the Scaleup Institute and also serves as a non-executive member of Cambridge University (Finance Board), Raspberry Pi and the London Stock Exchange plc. Coutu was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 2013 New Year Honours for her services to entrepreneurship. She was named Most Influential Women in UK IT 2017, Barclay's Entrepreneur of the Year, Top 50 inspiring women in Europe by the Management Today and Top Entrepreneur contributing to 'Queen and Country' by Sunday Times Magazine. In July Computer Weekly named Coutu in the top ten most influential women in UK IT industry. In the same year, she was ranked 29 on Wired's The WIRED 100.