Sally-Ann Williams, Engineering Community and Outreach Manager at Google: Google’s Female Founder Meetups are focused on creating a community to connect, support and inspire women to startup. Through regular meet-ups and hearing the stories of women who have ‘been there and done that’ we hope to provide a road map and starting point for other women to give it a go and turn their ideas into a reality through building a business. We’re also passionate about providing a platform to showcase emerging influential women in this space and celebrate their success & journey.
On Tuesday night, Jo Burston spoke as a panelist to a small audience of women at the ‘Google Entrepreneurs Women’s Meet-up’. Facilitated by Google’s engineering community and outreach manager Sally-Ann Williams, the questions were guided around ones that had been submitted by attendees and Jo’s latest business venture Inspiring Rare Birds.
With opening words from Sally-Ann it was evident that there is tremendous passion behind the Google events to nurture the women entrepreneur ecosystem through the founders meet up.
Jo discussed the urgency of teaching financial literacy early on to young girls saying the repercussions would be groundbreaking, also mentioning entrepreneurs need an understanding of financial basics & funding models.
“If girls can learn financial literacy early on they will: save their money, invest in themselves and won’t rely on the guy or male figure to provide for them.”
“I want to encourage you to do what you came here to do and that is to meet other entrepreneurs and founders. I want you to walk away with potentially a co-founder or someone who is going to help you in your business do what you’re going to do,” Jo added.
One of the highlights of the night was when Sally-Ann had an ‘Oprah moment’ and gave away copies of the book to everyone in the audience. Many of which had the same reaction as if it was Oprah herself.
When looking around the room while Jo was talking to Sally-Ann, the audience was engaged in her story and the women felt they could relate to her. Jo got to the heart of the issue even if that wasn’t what they asked.
Sally-Ann also raised the question as to how many had actually started their own venture or are currently working on one, “the bulk of the audience is at the stage of creating a business. Congratulations.”
The women were also interested to know how Jo copes with adversity, that many of them are facing in their own ventures, to how to ‘seal a deal’. Jo responded with a piece of advice to instill confidence:
At the end of the discussion there was a period for the women to network. Ages ranging from attendees in their 20s through to 50s, it was a great mix of women all who let down their own barriers of self-confidence and opened up to each other to share business insights and form new relationships.
Sally-Ann mentioned that from past post-event surveys the number one objective audience members look for when coming to the Google for Entrepreneurs Women’s Meet-ups is ‘networking’ – women want to form networks to encourage business growth.
Here’s a snapshot of what audience members took away during the event:
Google’s Meetups is where Jo Burston met two of her first employees.