To mark International Women’s Day BIZL caught up with Hannah Feldman to talk about life as the boss of tech start-up, Kidadl.
International Women’s Day is celebrated every year on 8th March to mark and commemorate advances in women’s rights and to celebrate the role women play in both business and domestic life. In China women get the day off, while over in Russia and the former Soviet Union countries it is an official public holiday.
In recent years the day has been more widely recognised in the western world and is helping to celebrate female-led businesses while shining the spotlight on gender imbalances amongst SMEs.
Let’s talk business
Hannah Feldman left an international career in law and banking to found a start-up with experienced entrepreneur Sophie Orman that solved a problem that they faced in their family lives. We asked Hannah a few questions:
BIZL: You are the co-founder of Kidadl. Sounds fun! What is it?
Hannah: Solving the problem of “what can we do with the kids today?”, Kidadl enables families to get out and make the memories that childhood is all about. Using the Kidadl marketplace, parents can discover and book curated events and experiences, tailored to their family, their location and their budget – wherever they are in the world.
BIZL: Was it a life-long ambition to start this business, or did you just stumble into it?
Hannah: I have always been very entrepreneurial and knew that I would build a business, but it had to be one that pulled at my heart-strings, and that solved a problem I faced in my daily life. I turned down a handful of start-up opportunities which didn’t inspire me before meeting my co-founder Sophie and throwing caution to the wind to build Kidadl and I’ve never looked back!
BIZL: What’s the best thing about running your own business?
Hannah: The endless creativity and problem-solving that comes with taking an idea from a concept to a functional, thriving product with hundreds and thousands of customers. I equate it to getting an MBA on the job – several times over! The journey has its challenges of course, but the rewards outweigh the pitfalls and the learning is immense.
BIZL: And the worst?
Hannah: When things come at you from all directions and you get overwhelmed by a sea of to do’s. I’ve learnt that leaning in to this is not the way to get focus, instead it’s about having a breather and returning with fresh eyes to deal with what is important for the business, not just what’s urgent. Also in recognising that when you could feasibly be working 18 hour days the threat of burn-out is real, and that taking care of your health and taking time to focus on personal wellbeing and family is non-negotiable.
BIZL: In the UK there are twice as many male entrepreneurs as there are female entrepreneurs. What can we do to see more women following in your footsteps?
Hannah: We may be in 2019 but unfortunately there is not an equal playing field in terms of access to capital, with female founders receiving on average 1p out of every £1 of investor funds in the UK. Since capital provides the fuel that many businesses need to get off the ground I think that more needs to be done to open investor networks to women (and end the “warm lead” obsession which primarily serves the old boys network), and for reports to be published by investment houses on the number of female founders in their pipeline and their conversion rate to investment in these founders.
BIZL: Hannah, thanks so much for taking the time to share some of your story with us!
If you’re a female founder we’d love to hear from you. Get in touch via our social channels below.