When you go to a kid’s birthday party, you might expect to meet a magician or a balloon modeller and head home with some chocolate cake wrapped in a napkin. You wouldn’t expect to meet a business partner. But that’s what happened to Dahlia Dajani, brand manager and mum of three, and Elena Rogari, commercial analyst and mum of one.
Together, they co-founded DE Startup Lab, through which they run events, e-courses and an online community for women who want to start a business. They use Starling to manage their finances.
“We realised that there was a real need to help women and especially mums get into business,” says Elena, 38. “After having a baby, your whole world changes and confidence is the one big thing that goes straight through the floor. We want women to believe in themselves. They have amazing products and ideas and we want to help them gain the confidence and know-how to start with simple steps.”
Starting out in business
Even when you’ve bucked up the courage to start working on your business, there are lots of easy (and expensive) mistakes that many people make. “We spoke to several women who had all spent a ridiculous amount of money on websites, logos and products they hadn’t tested and they regretted it,” says Dahlia, 40. “Your business idea could change so much - a website isn’t what you need right at the beginning.”
What you do need is customer feedback, a business plan and a network. “Talk to people - not family and friends because they’ll give you positive reviews. Ask strangers,” says Elena.