A directory for female-led businesses is attracting women entrepreneurs from all walks of life
Directories for businesses can help maximize a company’s visibility and attract prospective clients.
They can also help increase a business owner’s profile, offer insight and generate leads.
Otherwise, online directories can also help boost and improve organic search rankings.
But what if there was a directory designed specifically for female-led businesses with an authentic and more intimate community feel?
Enter Genderbuzz – a unique digital directory and marketplace for female-owned companies that simultaneously promotes gender parity across the world.
Founded by the British entrepreneur and activist, Natasha Stromberg and her original aim was to strike out and push hard for gender equality whilst overhauling the business landscape for women.
Her goal was to create a different business world where women lead and own a greater percentage of global wealth, as well as one which is less environmentally destructive.
Women see the authenticity of purpose that I bring and connect positively with it on a fundamental level.
Here, the former investment banker tells Nativa World why her directory is home to hundreds of women entrepreneurs who advertise their businesses whilst receiving and giving support to others.
Natasha, what’s your background in business?
I started working in investment banking in the mid-1990’s and did a variety of roles in the financial markets sector. In 2010, I made the transition into financial Regulation – an area I do go back to, alongside my entrepreneurial efforts. I’ve always been interested in starting my own business and dreamt many years ago of setting up a luxury pet business. Circumstances intervened and I remained in the financial industry.
In 2014, I finally struck out on my own as a coach and gender equality consultant. My initial consultancy business morphed into Genderbuzz in 2016 when we became a magazine and directory site for female-led businesses and we’ve built on that over the last two years to put the Genderbuzz Directory the heart of what we do.
What inspired you to create Genderbuzz?
I’ve been a Feminist from a young age and knew that I wanted to be a businesswoman when I was in primary school. My experiences of the workplace showed me the reality of the unnecessary barriers and biases that women still encounter, no matter how talented we are. In 2014 I decided that I wanted to take concrete and positive action to change that.
How does Genderbuzz stand out in a crowded market?
I launched in 2014 when there were fewer platforms and female empowerment sites, but over the last couple of years competition in this space has definitely grown. However, I think it’s a testament to my determination and true dedication to gender equality that the Genderbuzz brand is still present and making an impact. I think women see the authenticity of purpose that I bring and connect positively with it on a fundamental level.
For me, the key is giving people what they need and certainly, the Genderbuzz Directory has proven to be something that has enabled us to stand out and serve the growing number of female-led businesses and female freelancers. I also think that every platform has its own individual style and some styles will resonate with some women and not others. We pride ourselves on the fact that our directory is a very inclusive platform with a modern look and feel and the variety of businesses we have is huge – from plumbers to travel agents.
What problem does Genderbuzz solve?
It’s a platform that helps women who work outside the corporate sector to succeed by connecting them with a marketplace of potential clients and revenue streams. It targets women who have talents and skills that they have most likely gained from working in the corporate sector but who have decided to take those skills and strike out on their own. The kind of woman who would list on the Genderbuzz Directory would be a woman with Feminist values and who believes that female-led businesses can be a force for good in the world.
Are you reaching your goals?
It really is too early to tell if Genderbuzz is having an impact in terms of global wealth for women. We do have plenty of female leaders on the platform already, women like the Stopcocks Women Plumbers who are the only female plumbing franchise in the U.K and women like Lauren Chiren of ‘Women of a Certain Stage’ who is an internationally recognized trailblazer in tackling the taboo of menopause in the workplace.
In terms of women leading businesses that are less environmentally destructive we have recently added Vegan Investing firm, ‘Beyond Investing’ whose financial products contain zero animal exploitation and travel company ‘Animal Experience International’ – a registered B Corp which is changing the face of eco-travel by matching up clients with volunteer opportunities at animal sanctuaries around the world. All of these businesses show modern women who are operating from a purposeful center, that it is entirely possible to create the business world we want to see and participate in.
Anything you would have done differently along the way?
I wouldn’t do anything differently. I think the journey of an entrepreneur is as instructive as the outcome. The old adage that you learn by ‘doing’, is absolutely true when it comes to running your own business. You have to try different strategies and if one doesn’t work, you try another until you hit upon a successful formula. I think all entrepreneurs would tell you the same thing, that they didn’t get it right the first time but the ‘mistakes’ they made along the way ultimately cleared the path to their success.
Providing women with the tools to grow their wealth, to lead and contribute to meaningful positive change, is my No.1 driver.
Any further future goals for the business?
To keep adding businesses to our Directory and growing it globally whilst at the same time shouting loudly about the innate creativity and talent of women who lead their own businesses.
How do you stay motivated?
Deep down to the core of my soul, I believe that if we had women, and men who think like us, leading in business, politics and civil society, our societies would be more peaceful, more sustainable and more pleasant to inhabit, and that’s what keeps me motivated to keep working as an entrepreneur in this field. To help facilitate that by providing women with the tools to grow their wealth, to lead and contribute to meaningful positive change, is my No.1 driver.
Who inspires you in entrepreneurship?
I know you probably expected me to name a woman, but someone I admire from the heart is Bill Gates. None of us can imagine modern life without the personal computer and the revolution that Bill Gates brought about by founding Microsoft was seismic. I think Microsoft is such an established company that we forget that Bill Gates was one of the original tech entrepreneurs back in the 70’s and 80’s.
The subsequent work both he and Melinda have done in the Philanthropic arena is virtually peerless. I have always believed that with great wealth, comes great responsibility, and very few entrepreneurs put their wealth to work in the way that Bill Gates does, so for that reason, I admire him immensely.
When you travel, how do you stay fit, healthy and happy?
I rarely drink alcohol so I find that keeps me alert and clear-headed, I also follow a Vegan diet where at all possible and I’m not keen on eating late at night either. I do try and stick to a routine when I travel by getting up at a reasonable time – please note I am not a 5 am riser but I do like to have the day in front of me and get going early.
Generally, I’m happy if I have a good book to dive into and of course my phone nearby to stay in touch with my loved ones. Whilst I’m away, I love getting photo updates of my pets on Whatsapp from my husband to remind me of home.
What are your lifestyle tips for someone launching a business?
My No.1 lifestyle tip for entrepreneurs is to get yourself a great home office. For me it has been so important to have that space to call my own at home – no matter how small – and to be able to go in there in the morning just as though I’m going to a regular office. Again – sticking to a routine – like taking an hour for lunch is really important as an entrepreneur and keeps me very productive. I would also highly recommend that you sign up to your own Zoom Room so that you can have online meetings with fellow entrepreneurs and collaborators – it’s a lifesaver and gets the creative juices flowing!
Photography courtesy of Natasha Stromberg & Genderbuzz