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'Focus on being an awesome entrepreneur - not a female one'

The field is open for women to do what they want in business, says Melinda Nicci

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Focus on the fact that you are an entrepreneur not that you are a woman, founder of start-up Baby2Body told fledgling businesswomen at Tech Entrepreneur Week in London.

“There are always challenges to being a woman entrepreneur but the field is open for us – we can do whatever we like," said Melinda Nicci, who sought work in a large corporate, consumer technology company Philips, to expand her business management after running her own company for nearly two decades. 

South Africa-born Nicci moved to London while she was pregnant and found there was a gap in the market for prenatal and postnatal fitness and nutrition advice. She set up and ran Baby2Body for 17 years until she hit a plateau.

She said: “I was able to bring up two kids through Baby2Body. It saw me through a divorce and through loss of a parent. It was my third baby. I was at the school gates every day, I could manage my time and manage my hours. But people would ask 'how are you going to scale?'

“I couldn't understand why I would need to. So I did something radical. I was too attached to the business. I knew I needed to take a step away.”

Nicci saw that health technology was “worth looking at”. After gaining a qualification in sports science, Nicci found a job at Philips in the innovation team in Amsterdam.

Working for someone else put Nicci in "in a quagmire of politics that I completely wasn’t used to," she said. 

“I went from being my own boss to a corporate with hardly any women at C-level.”

Using her experience at a large company, Nicci recently reopened Baby2Body, and she is now pitching to investors to give the business a technology angle. 

Samsung and Microsoft leads also had advice for entrepreneurs during the conference. 

Picture: Flickr Thomas Van Weerd


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