3 female entrepreneurs reveal the lessons they’ve learned in business

For the first 11 years of its existence, the founders of Neom Organics chose to avoid private equity, instead opting to fund everything themselves.

In so doing, the process of building up the natural beauty brand took a lot longer, one of the founders Nicola Elliott explained at the AllBright FoundHER festival.

“I was absolutely adamant that we would retain control of it — which in the end, ended up being a good thing for us, but it meant that we grew slowly. You can only put into the business what you’ve obviously made,” she said.

Four years after setting up the business, Elliott attended a trade show and met Nicky Kinnaird, the founder of beauty retailer Space NK, who told her that it would take about nine years for Neom Organics to become a household name — a statement that surprised Elliott at the time, but now completely understands.

“You can grow (a business) much, much quicker, and I do think you do need to be prepared to get cash to do that,” she said.

“So, I think just knowing that fact, and sitting down and thinking, ‘If you want it all yourself, that’s fine,’ — it will take a lot longer. And if you don’t, that’s also fine. But prioritize going for the cash earlier and it will grow faster.”

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