For International Women’s Day 2020 we spoke with five women who’ve each founded ground-breaking social enterprises set up to create a more gender equal world. We’ve asked them their thoughts on what needs to change to encourage more women to enter the world of business and to share their experiences from their own journeys.

How can business be a force for good in creating a more gender equal world?

“Business is a force that can drive change and just as bad business practice can foster prejudice, good business practice can help overcome prejudice. It’s as simple as that” – Rachel Wang, Chocolate Films

What key changes would you want to see to support more women starting businesses?

“We need to have what everybody needs to start a business, which is money.” – June O’Sullivan, LEYF

How is your social enterprise contributing to the fight for gender equality?

“We provide leadership opportunities for young women who other people might think aren’t capable of going into those roles.” – Rosie Ginday, Miss Macaroon

Why do you think men still dominate leadership positions in business?

 “It’s always difficult to challenge the status quo and prove that there is another way of doing business one that is based on kindness and creativity.” – Susanna Wen, Birdsong

What one bit of advice do you wish you’d known before you started your business journey?

“When I started my businesses journey a long time ago, I had no idea that I could be a business person and I did not have that self-belief. It’s about having tenacity and having self-belief – Claire Dove, Blackburne House