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Belinda Nnoka

Natalie Ellis – inventor of Road Refresher

There is one item that President Obama doesn’t leave home without when taking his dog, Bo, on a trip.  That item is the Road Refresher, which was famously rejected by the panel on Dragon’s Den in 2008 as they felt it was too challenging to crack the American market.  But Natalie Ellis, undaunted by their brutal criticism and her desire to succeed, forged ahead and has become a bonafide entrepreneur with a £1 million turnover.

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Extraordinary Entrepreneurs Evening – oh what a night!

What a fantastic night it was!  Women Unlimited held its first ever Extraordinary Entrepreneurs evening in the British Library last night, and judging by the fact that the women had to be asked to vacate the dining area twice, it is safe to say it was a resounding success!  What better way to celebrate Women’s Enterprise Day than by having female entrepreneurs who are at the top of their game spend an evening encouraging and sharing their experiences with other women who are on the same journey? 

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Extraordinary Entrepreneur: Karen Hanton – founder of Toptable

Toptable.com is the brain child of Karen Hanton, a truly daring entrepreneur with a passion for British cuisine.  Toptable is an online restaurant booking site which she created in 2000, and it is now the UK’s leading restaurant booking website, which allows diners to choose from around 5000 restaurants in 12 countries.  Karen, like many online entrepreneurs, started her business during the dotcom heyday, but unlike many other enterprises, not only is her business still around it is still flourishing.

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Saira Khan – Miamoo: Extraordinary Entrepreneur

Many will remember Saira Khan as the runner up on the first ever series of The Apprentice in 2005.  She made quite an impression on the British public as the fiercely ambitious, free-spirited Muslim woman who continuously kicked against cultural constraints.  She has come a long way since then, and in October 2006 she created Miamoo, the organic skin care range for babies.

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Precious Awards 2009

This November, the achievements of women of colour are being celebrated by a newly launched awards ceremony. The Precious Awards were set up in 2008 by Foluke Akinlose to celebrate the work of inspirational and entrepreneurial women of colour who are running their own businesses in the UK.  The awards acknowledge their successes and encourage other women to take hold of their financial futures by launching their own businesses also. Before setting up the Precious organisation in 1999, Foluke worked as a journalist and editor across print and new media …

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Polly Gowers – Founder of Everyclick.com: Extraordinary Entrepreneur

Polly Gowers is on a quest of epic proportions.  She wants to encourage people to rethink their traditional methods of using the internet, such as using Google as a search engine, and switch to everyclick.com so that every time they click online, they are donating to a worthwhile cause. She is succeeding in her mission – so far 147,539 people have helped raise over £900,000 for charity.  As well as individuals, schools, colleges switching to a more ethical way of using the internet Cadbury Trebor Bassett, MTV, AXA and the …

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In focus: Julie Meyer… Extraordinary Entrepreneur

Now, how do we describe Julie Meyer?  Women are renowned for wearing many hats, but Julie takes this to a whole new level!  Julie has founded or is involved in a whole slew of high profile ventures: currently she is the founder and CEO of Ariadne Capital, the investment and advisory firm focused on digital media and entertainment; the founder of Entrepreneur Country, she is a dragon on BBC’s Online Dragons Den (on TV last night where she made an investment in Warren Cole) and weekly columnist in London’s City …

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Drop shipping – the cheap way to get inventory

If you have been browsing the internet for a while searching for a business opportunity, the chances are you would have come across drop shipping.  In the retail industry, this is becoming something of a growing trend in order to help cut costs and keep things local, but what is it and how does it work? What is drop shipping? Drop shipping is an arrangement between you and a wholesaler whereby you offer their products on your site but you don’t actually physically stock any inventory. If someone clicks on …

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Karen Darby – Extraordinary Entrepreneur

“My friends think I’m lazy, but I just work efficiently!” laughs Karen Darby, the gregarious, fun-loving founder of SimplySwitch.  Karen is one of those inspirational entrepreneurs who accidentally stumbled across her chosen career and has been making everything she touches a success ever since. Like a lot of entrepreneurs, Karen’s entrepreneurial spirit was evident early on.  She left school with one O-level and landed a job in telesales for a local newspaper, making 50p on every £5 advertisement she sold, or as she explains it “enough for a packet of …

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Working mums are great assets for small companies

For many companies, the whole concept of working mums is something they would rather stay clear of.  Aside from the  issue of maternity leave which can be quite costly for small companies, mothers, particularly single ones, often need to drop everything at a moment’s notice to attend to an emergency concerning their children.  There are a growing number of companies, however, who are recognising the benefits of having working mothers on their payroll. Gary Reid, manager of creative agency Nude, has no problem employing mums. “About a year ago, some of …

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