• Amy Burnett, Senior Manager |
2 min read

In 1975 the United Nations started celebrating International Women’s Day (IWD) to recognise the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women who have played an outstanding role in the history of their countries and communities. A record number of women have launched their own businesses in the UK since the pandemic, with many female entrepreneurs now shaping our tech and start up landscape.

We caught up with Nicola Weedall, co-founder of Hydr, and member of our Founded by Her programme to find out what it’s like to be a tech founder, what IWD means to her and why it remains an important day to celebrate.

What is it like being a woman in tech?

Being a woman in tech is like having your own super-power, very rarely do you see tech businesses founded by women, and sometimes being a minority is a great thing. It opens doors, it surprises people. It’s very hard work, especially as a mother of 3, but its empowering and I like to think inspirational for the small people around me.

What are the benefits you have received from starting your business?

Greater belief, autonomy, oodles of empowerment. All of these things make you a stronger person. They say it takes a certain type of person to be an entrepreneur and I really think it does, you might not start off that way, but you certainly end up there.

What are you most proud of?

I’ll avoid the cliché of ‘my kids’. I am most proud of believing in myself to take an idea and roll with it, that idea has now turned into a revenue generating business and I truly believe that it will enable millions of previously unreachable businesses to cope with the effects of late payments and extended payment terms.

Who is your role model and why?

I have a collective of role models, they’re known as Manchester’s Finest. They all know who they are. It’s a WhatsApp group of women founders (which actually extends beyond MCR now), we converse every single day about all of our issues, work and personal. We support one another and the inspiration from that one little WhatsApp group is unmeasured!

What is your advice to other women looking to follow in your footsteps on IWD?

I will tell you the best advice ever given to me… ‘don’t be a girl’… only recently did I have a conversation with someone about an opportunity that had crossed my desk. I was doing what most of us do, which is justifying why it was an opportunity brought to me and how I should have a very measured approached to it. To which I was told ‘don’t be a girl’. Most men would over promise, boost their ego and be brazen.

Want to get more insights like this? Join the Emerging Giants community on Beyond – our digital platform made for businesses like yours.