International Women's Day celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political successes of women across the world, championing gender parity.
At Workspace, we want to show our appreciation and pride in 20 of London’s most prominent female entrepreneurs, celebrating their individual achievements across a plethora of business niches:
Chantal Coady O.B.E.
Chantal Coady has lived and worked in the capital since the mid-1970s, having moved to the UK from Iran. In the early 1980s, Chantal founded Rococo Chocolates after daring to follow her dreams as a chocolatier. Her determination to change the way fine chocolate was marketed and enjoyed has seen the Rococo brand grow hugely, resulting in her award of an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List of June 2014 for her services to chocolate making.
Co-founder and COO of Entrepreneur First, Alice Bentinck founded this new London-based start-up accelerator for British and Central European tech graduates. As a proud advocate of the entry of more females to the tech sector, Bentinck was heralded as one of the 50 Most Inspiring Women in European Tech by the Inspiring Fifty body in 2015.
Brooke is an Australian award-winning digital knitwear designer who was recently named in the h.Club 100 list of the UK’s most influential and innovative creatives. Brooke was recently part of an expert discussion panel at the latest Workspace Business Insights Dinner, held at Kennington Park in February.
A serial entrepreneur, Linzi Boyd has long been one to watch within London commerce. Linzi was selected to open up the London Stock Exchange as one of the country’s most influential female entrepreneurs and was more recently listed fourth in the top 10 emerging female entrepreneurs to follow on Twitter.
Katherine founded iguacu in 2014 to provide a reputable service to the general public who wish to donate funds to provide financial support during global humanitarian crises. Their innovative approach helps to identify charities serving areas in crisis, giving donors the ability to truly make a difference with their donations.
Emily is the founder of luxurious nightwear and lingerie brand, Bluebella, which has taken the capital’s fashion industry by storm. Designing and manufacturing stunning, sophisticated garments of the highest quality at an affordable price, Emily is working hard to change the perception of lingerie as anything but functional and more of a personal self-indulgence.
The co-founder of Snact, Ilana Taub is the brains behind an innovative London start-up that takes surplus food and converts it into healthy snacks, helping to achieve positive environmental and social outcomes. Ilana has recently been part of the team that launched The Food Assembly in the UK and was also selected as a London leader by the Greater London Authority (GLA) and the Mayor of London.
Founder of DinoByte Labs, Louise Leolin has developed a London-based indie games company, which creates exciting games with gamers as their focus. Inspired by her time at the University of East London, DinoByte Labs is designed to encourage more females to work in the UK games industry.
Hanna Naima McCloskey
Educator and feminist, Hanna Naima McCloskey founded Fearless Futures due to her desire to equip young female entrepreneurs with the practical skills, self-awareness and confidence to make a success of their personal careers; making a difference in their communities and the wider world. In 2013, Hanna made the final ten of the Women in the City Future Leader awards.
Fashion entrepreneur, Natalie Massenet is arguably one of the most impressive self-made success stories in UK fashion. Natalie founded he designer fashion portal, Net-a-Porter in 2000 and is now estimated to be a £350m company. Natalie is now chairman of the British Fashion Council.
Sharmadean Reid M.B.E.
Sharmadean Reid is a British Jamaican fashion entrepreneur and the founder of WAH Nails. WAH was founded while Sharmadean was studying at university as a means of giving opportunities for women to get together and discuss careers and ideas. Sharmadean was hailed as one of the top 15 people who would define the future of arts in Britain and has since launched WAH Nails salons to give young women a place to hang out, form friendships and build communities whilst having their nails done.
Debbie Wosskow O.B.E.
One of the UK’s leading female entrepreneurs, Debbie Wosskow is co-founder and CEO of Love Home Swap, an online travel club where homeowners across the globe can exchange their homes. A passionate advocate of the ‘sharing economy’, Debbie penned an independent report called ‘Unlocking the Sharing Economy’ and was awarded an OBE for her services to business in 2016. Debbie is also co-founder of AllBright, a female-focused crowdfunding platform.
Publisher, Anna Jones drove Hearst UK to become the largest digital publisher in the sector before stepping down her role as CEO to launch AllBright, the first crowdfunding platform of its kinds for female-led businesses in the UK with Debbie Wosskow. Anna is also the Executive Chairman of ShareStyle, a digital marketplace for style services.
Founder of Her, the world’s leading dating and social networking app for lesbians and bisexual women, Robyn Exton’s innovative marketing approach has seen her take the plaudits for its immense traction. Her was initially founded in London but the app’s headquarters eventually moved to San Francisco in 2015 in order to be closer to its plentiful US investors.
With a passion for the world of genetics and the amalgamation of science and design, Iona Inglesby formed Dot One in 2015, a DNA personalised design company to bring genetics out of the lab and into the hands of the public in a fun and informative manner. Iona is also a Design Consultant at GENEU, a company which adopted the world’s first ‘DNA Lab on a microchip’ technology.
CEO of Kin&Co and co-founder of WeAreEurope campaign, Rosie Warin was behind the grassroots pro-EU movement that became the third-biggest campaign group of the EU referendum that helped increase the turnout of young voters to 68%. Her company, Kin&Co is a communications and culture agency that helps organisations harness the power of values, purpose and sustainability, working with brands such as Innocent, Not On The High Street and TripAdvisor.
Founder of one of the most talked about sewing brands in the UK, Tilly Walnes founded Tilly and the Buttons to encourage more people to sew and create a new wave of DIY dressmakers. With jargon-busting instructions and step-by-step photos, Tilly has become sewing’s newest star from her Parkhall Business Centre home.
A former brand and commercial professional for Coca-Cola, Disney and Nike, Charlotte Dennis has since founded her very own marketing consultancy agency, Curious Consultancy, based at Kennington Park. Charlotte also lectures at The Marketers’ Forum and is now a leading expert for corporate communications in London.
Dr Nasrin Hafezparast
With a GP background, Nasrin co-founded Outcomes Based Healthcare, with an unrivalled combination of medical doctor experience and an entrepreneurial background and skill set. Outcomes Based Healthcare offers specialist advice, tools and technology to help commissioners and providers make a reality of value-based healthcare strategies and outcomes-based contracts, tailored to specific populations and pathways.
Australian entrepreneur, Jessica Kruger founded Ethos in 2014 to give Londoners a healthy-eating, pay-by-weight meat-free restaurant. Leaving behind her job in advertising, Jessica has since developed the brand, situated two minutes’ from Oxford Circus, and is highly regarded by the likes of Time Out and Vogue for her eatery which includes a vast array of gluten free, dairy free and vegan choices.