1. Tell me a bit about your business – when it started and what are your main services?
Her story matters is an organisation that started off a as a digital platform to help women have their voices heard but quickly evolved to helping women start and grow their business and feel empowered in leadership. We help raise awareness of social injustices, promote the need for education as well as run workshops and events that empower and equip women in business and in leadership.
Our main services include:
- Women in business and leadership programs that empower, equip and help women achieve financial freedom and be great leaders.
- We have a magazine that features amazing women and companies which we sell advert space on.
- We offer business consultation services to other organisations to help them expand.
2. What was the main driver for starting your own business?
I have always wanted to be my own boss as long as I can remember. I just didn’t know what it would be in. In the past I had a dance company and offered PR services to small companies and I loved it. I lost both businesses due to an illness that resulted in me being hospitalised for weeks. That was my first lesson in business, make sure I set it up in a way that it didn’t depend on me alone to run it.
I started Her Story matters in 2011, 2 years after my first business failed, the circumstances around me starting it was very different. I was suicidal and depressed as a result of a rape ordeal that I never told anyone about. It ate into my life and I slowly shrunk away. I was about to commit suicide when the thought came to me that someone else might be feeling as I did. A platform like this would encourage them without them having to be vulnerable by just seeing someone else who has lived through it would be enough encouragement to face life again.
3. What gets you up in the morning?
What gets me up in the morning is knowing that every day it’s crucial to empower, equip or inspire someone. The results I see and the feedback I get make me feel fulfilled knowing lives are changed.
4. If you could change one thing about your first year (or first few years) in business, what would it be?
I was very timid and insecure when I started. I felt that I was not the right person to do this. I later realised that I was the perfect person to do it! I wish that I had believed in myself and my product more.
5. What is your biggest achievement to date?
I look at achievements differently and as such think one of them is partnering with the government, NSPCC and the Home Office to raise awareness of harmful practices. Seeing policies being implemented to safeguard women and children is very fulfilling. Also running a global campaign that put us on the map and sought after internationally by other organisations.
6. What has been your biggest challenge?
The biggest challenge we have had to face as a business is to encourage women to speak against social injustices, some topics are still taboo in some communities which results in both women and children suffering in silence.
7. What would be your number one tip for other entrepreneurs who want to develop their personal brand (related to their industry / specialism)?
Do your research and be very focused on what you want to achieve. When you know exactly what you want to achieve its easier to make the right decisions and partnerships that will keep you on that path.
8. What advice would you give to other women thinking of starting their own business?
Just do it! You will perfect everything along the way and no one is ever prepared because the road to success is constantly rerouting itself.
9. Lastly, which social media platform has helped you get the most customers to date and why?
I would say Facebook because they had what we needed when we needed it, we have used a lot of visuals in the past and uploaded videos and we found it was effective for us when we ran heavy campaigns years ago. Instagram has also been surprisingly good for us bearing in mind we haven’t utilised it as much as we should have but it is definitely on our list to use more now.
Harriet Khataba is a global change agent, a media influencer, editor of Her Story magazine and business coach to amazing young leaders in areas of business and leadership. She is the founder of Her Story Matters organisation and Harriet Khataba ltd.
Harriet’s background is in business and finance management, project planning and implementing, budget management, proposals, creative story writing and public speaking.
She specialises in International Project Management, Child Welfare for Girls, Women’s Rights, Business and Finance Management and TV Programme Production.
This interview was conducted by Jennifer Corcoran, LinkedIn Consultant & Trainer, Founder and CEO of My Super Connector and Host of LinkedIn Local Croydon. Jennifer regularly writes and speaks on the topics of social media, personal branding, networking and being an introverted entrepreneur. If you need help with any of your profiles mail [email protected] You can follow Jennifer on Twitter @SuperConnector.