Celebrating International Women’s Month, we speak to April McKenna, CEO of Autumn, our all-in-one financial planning platform that helps customers own their future, about what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur, how we can overcome gender bias in the venture space, and the advice she would give her younger self – and budding entrepreneurs embarking on their venture journey.
What are three qualities you need to have to be a successful entrepreneur?
A: The startup world certainly lives up to the expectation of being a rollercoaster of a journey – there are most definitely lots of ups and downs. The three qualities required in designing, building and bringing to market a corporate venture are most definitely that of resilience, tenacity and lots of positive energy. Running is essential to my morning routine as I not only build resilience through working out but I find it allows me to clear my mind and focus on the most important priorities for the day.
What has helped you overcome any gender bias along your venture journey?
A: Diversity is not just a question of gender and although statistics show that there is a funding gap for female founders that needs to be closed, those with diverse teams receive the most funding, irrespective of whether the founder is male or female.
Creating and supporting a diverse team of individuals with divergent backgrounds, experience and thought is critical to me, and is absolutely essential to building a successful business.
What is one piece of advice you would tell your younger self when you started your venture journey?Any advice for other budding female entrepreneurs?
A: Remove the doubts and the fears and just get on with it – believe in yourself but also don’t forget about your team – surround yourself with the best people and build a strong culture of trust and collaboration, allowing each person to be empowered to reach their full potential and drive the business forward.
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