t’s an all too familiar problem for Lu Li, founder of women’s network Blooming Founders. As a solo founder herself, she understood the challenges of running a business alone. She launched her business to fill the gap in networking aimed at female entrepreneurs in London.
‘I came to London about four years ago and I didn’t know anybody in the city. I put myself out there because I wanted to build my network, but whatever events I went to, the majority of people there were men,’ she says.
Lu launched Blooming Founders, in August 2015, as a network for female entrepreneurs like herself – modern, active and ambitious – who couldn’t relate to anything out there already. Having worked previously as a self-employed consultant, she knew the challenges of operating alone. ‘You have to research and educate yourself and learn about things to compensate the areas that you don’t know about, and you make mistakes,’ she says.
According to research published in the government-commissioned Self-Employment Review by Cambridge Satchel Company founder Julie Deane, the number of self-employed women has increased faster than men. Since 2009 women have accounted for over half of the overall growth in self-employment.