Thought Leadership - WOMEN IN BUSINESS
Created by Nav Kumari founder of Sattra Yoga
A world where women are 24% more likely to lose their full time employment (than men based on Catalyst Research Feb 2021) or stay-at-home-mums fear the stability of their partner’s job and family income, has created a new wave of Women Entrepreneurs.
I’m Nav Kumari, mother of 3 (born in 3 years), a wellness advocate, certified yoga teacher and founder of SATTRA in 2020. I’ve worked 15years for global branding agencies but always had a passion for wellness whilst practicing yoga and learning about nutrition everywhere I’ve travelled.
During the year of a global pandemic it was no surprise to me that more women have been taking the leap of faith into becoming business owners by unlocking hidden creative, financial and digital talents which are far more than just a pass-time, they’re making valuable economic contributions. Worldwide, women currently own 36% of small businesses and employ over 9 million people (Women Entrepreneur Statistics Feb 2021).
Science proves that motherhood changes the brain on a neurological level As women, we start to question our life’s purpose and the thought of going back to work after maternity leave can be daunting. Becoming a business founder and owner gives a sense of purpose whilst being flexible and present for our growing family. That being said it’s not always an easy path or one where you work less. Often times you may work more and potentially stretch yourself thin.
BUSINESS LED BY INSTINCTS
In June 2020, I was made redundant - what would usually have been considered an unfortunate situation, I was over the moon. I took it as an opportunity to build and create my wellness brand, SATTRA which, up to that point, I’d been working on during the evenings and weekends, only once the children were asleep.
Malabar Baby, conceived when Anjali Harjani realized the need for great quality and affordable gifting items for women and their new and growing families, there just didn't seem to be anything great available in Asia to fill this gap. So with a family foundation in textiles in India, it allowed her to create a global business with giftable organic cotton linen that is accessible for families around the world. During the last 12 months she has expanded her business to enter new markets and up-cycle fabrics in meaningful ways.
More woman based in Hong Kong, who give us great inspiration are Sarah Keates founder of boutique marketing and PR agency, White Orchid insights, Stephanie Poon mother of 3 provides extremely unique arts & crafts activities through her Little City Tales platform and launched a new business Chiwawa, focused on online classes that are online, fun and very interactive. Sarah Fung, owner of Hula who took the plunge to open her own boutique in the middle of Central, Hong Kong!
All instances have come from a place of deep insights, personal experience and a strong passion to drive their brand to fruition and beyond.
IT’S A RESOURCEFUL WORLD
Setting up a business is not so daunting these days. In 2020 Hong Kong was ranked 3rd easiest country to do business in and rated 4th out of 180 for starting a new business by the World Bank, Doing Business 2020 report (right behind Singapore rated 2nd and 4th respectively). InvestHK is a government advisory body in Hong Kong providing free guidance from incorporation to market research and beyond. Specifically for women, there are many resources globally that help support women such as Women in Business Club, and Female Entrepreneurs Worldwide who give access to inspirational business women from all over the world. And HK Momtrepreneurs or Tribe Hong Kong (founded by a HK Mom and vegan chef, Kanchan Porta-Panjabi) offers support specifically from Asia.
A BUSINESS MINDSET
“We don't see the world as it is, we see it as we are” Anais Nin.
When setting up your own business, never lose sight of the passion that is driving your intentions. Having spoken with many women who’ve set up their dream job during the pandemic, here are some juicy insights that are common amongst them all.
Authenticity from the heart - As females we are far more driven by our intuition and that shows in how we present our brand. See how your brand tells a story and is personable, show yourself as the founder of the business to portray your values.
Driven together - Be prepared to work hard, there is a lot that goes into a new business set up but be reminded to never work in isolation. Many find that networking amongst women can feel seamless, presenting a beautiful sisterhood for collaboration and skill sharing opportunities.
Multi-mothers - Set a clear structure when juggling business, meetings, home-based e-learning for our children and household tasks. But even with structure, be prepared for sudden changes and in those moments stay mindful of what is most important at that given moment. Be easy on yourself.
Take-a-break - Take time to incubate, take time in nature as creative ideas come from giving our mind a break to come up with innovative ideas. The “hustle'' can become a very demoralizing way to conduct your business, lead from a place of authenticity, continuously reminding yourself of your WHY.
Reflect, relearn and refine strategies - If your sales revenue isn't as you’d expected it be due to COVID factors out of your control, use this time to up-skill and implement marketing and business operations.
We’re all part of a significant historical event and we’re building skills of resilience and rigour that we’d never have been confronted with prior to the pandemic. When given restrictions we learn to think creatively within the parameters of constraints brought on by social distancing and trading.
If you too have started out your business during the pandemic (or are thinking about it) you are not the only one to feel the challenges and pressure! Be kind to yourself, have patience and seek your tribe for support and open collaborations. When starting your own business be prepared for challenges as you take the wonderful journey of getting your deep rooted passion and calling to the people who need it. This all takes a lot of courage and is extremely rewarding!!!
You got this….!
We hope you enjoyed this read created by Nav Kumari (Founder of Sattra Yoga). Nav is a great wellness advocate and though we met her purely as a client of Malabar Baby, we were mesmerized by her story. We believe so many of the lessons she shares resonate deep within many women starting a business (in 2020/21) and the aim of this series is to ensure you know you are not alone on your path. Wising you success and beautiful memories this 2021
xxx Anjali (Founder of Malabar Baby)
About the Author
Nav Kumari, founder of SATTRA, is a wellness advocate, mother of 3 below 5 years and certified Yoga teacher who shares the benefits of the sacred arts to all life stages including families and prenatal. Her teaching style is a direct reflection of her passion to serve others, empowering them with the benefits of yoga to achieve universal health and wellbeing.
Bringing Authentic and Inspiring spiritual experiences through creative collaborations is at the core of what SATTRA stands for. Working alongside esteemed specialists from the wellness world, SATTRA provides tailored retreats that aim to empower and transform. www.sattrayoga.com www.instagram.com/sattrayoga/