Mixtape Social: Power, grit & female entrepreneur start-up stories

Power, grit & female entrepreneur start-up stories
9 min |

In my Mixtape Social posts I share lovely or critical or fascinating things which spark my curiosity {and I think will spark yours} + personal stories & what I’m reading, kindling or listening to + change-making business owners, incredible creatives and inspiring people to discover.
Sometimes themed, sometimes random. Have we met? Share your inspirations & introduce yourself via email.




Have you read The Power? It’s the first of Naomi Alderman’s novels  I’ve dived into and…

I inhaled it in one deep breath.

It was satisfying in so many ways – fascinating, exciting, a brilliant premise… plus I was intrigued at my own reactions throughout.

The Power is much more than just a good read, it makes you think about power, what it means to you personally, and could mean.

As the world turns itself inside out and men become the “weaker sex”, you follow teens Allie and Roxy as they move away from their powerless past and into an astonishing future, and Margot, politician and mother of two daughters; plus Tunde, a young journalist from Lagos, who crisscrosses the continents, as he documents the revolution firsthand.


The Power - a groundbreaking & award-winning novel by Naomi Alderman

“It doesn’t matter that she shouldn’t, that she never would. What matters is that she could, if she wanted.” – The Power, Naomi Alderman


The Power stays with you, not because of the {nessecary} violence but because of the incredible strength and complex lives of the main characters, plus their inner and outer conflicts. In Alderman’s own words:

“It’s a novel of ideas – what would happen if women had the power to cause pain and destruction? Do we really believe that women are naturally peaceful and nurturing? How much of gender is in our expectations of violence? … At the novel’s heart is the question of power: who has it, how do you get it, what does it do to you when you’ve got it? And when you wield the power, how long will it be before the power wields you?”

And the email exchange between Naomi and Neil is delicious!


As a mother of both a daughter and a son and the expectations of others on how they would and should behave – my own gender bias “crimes” included – The Power opened this can of worms up again for me and I’m glad it did.

Read the first five chapters of this groundbreaking and award-winning novel on The Pool , Justine Jordan’s review in The Guardian or just go ahead and buy it .

Alderman is a polymath – she’s an award-winning author, radio presenter, Professor of Creative Writing at Bath Spa University and co-created + writes for the app Zombies, Run! She was also mentored in 2012 by one of my favourite authors, Margaret Atwood, through Rolex’s Mentor & Protégé program {the stuff that dreams are made of!}.

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Talking of gender bias, I’ve written my thoughts and experiences about gender, from a parent’s perspective, on No Pink Please’s blog {BTW they have the most GORGEOUS unisex kids clothes & accessories}:

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Entrepreneurs have fortitude & grit

We may be a looooong way off from equality, but female-identifying entrepreneurs are rapidly on the rise around the world. Check out this cool interactive infographic from No Ceilings , which shows Sub-Saharan Africa, East Asia and Latin America are making huge strides in this area, with Zambia, and Nigeria tieing in first place with 41% of women are entrepreneurs.


Although numbers for populations in western continents are much lower (10% and under), in the US, for example, Womanable’s 2016 report found almost 1000 women-led businesses are opened every day, with 78% founded by women of colour. This is exciting news for racial equality!


I know it takes a certain level of grit to, not just open a business, but keep it running past the 2-year gauntlet and beyond.  

So I love it when women, like Grace Bonney of Design*Sponge, “come clean” and discusses the “things business owner don’t talk about, but should “, like hiring and firing, leadership lessons, competitors and fear {and all the things she wished she knew earlier – it’s a very helpful, informative post!


I’ve just discovered The Story Exchange’s 1000+ Stories project  and I can’t wait to dive in and read about start-ups across the globe, like Ami Sata from India, founder of Amouve who likens herself to a “one-woman army” {I hear you!}, producing organic cotton bedding and educating her target market. Or UK-based Prosperity Coach, Lindsey Whitaker , whose background in nursing has served her well.  their map .


If you love sarcasm, Alysia Lewis’ cover letter which has gone semi-viral, may impress you. It’s certainly got the attention of several agencies and Adweek magazine .

Alysia posted it in an NYC Ad Jobs & Networking Facebook Group and the comments lit up.

Controversial and provocative? Yes. But it’s better to be your bold, snarky self rather someone you think your ideal clients want you to be.


How does power manifest in your daily life?

Where does the power balance lie between you and your business? Does your business rule over you?

As solopreneurs, we can often feel like our business is in charge of us – we get bogged down in the day-to-day grind, rather than spending time on strategic growth.


A post shared by Jeda Pearl Lewis (@jedapearl) on

A post shared by Jeda Pearl Lewis (@jedapearl) on

I find that getting back in tune with my deep desires – the longing of those internal songs – helps centre and focus my energy when I’m plotting things out, be that social media marketing plans, product/service creation, launches or any high-level strategies.

Do you take regular time out? I’m certainly guilty of being a workaholic! As a mother and business owner, it’s easy to forget to carve out “me” time – I’m certainly glad when the school holidays force it upon me!

Music can have a visceral and dynamic effect on our senses. Do you have anthems that you love to belt out – songs which make you feel powerful? Mine include:


Do you have any tips for how we, as women business owners, can stay in charge of our businesses so they don’t run us into the ground? Please tell us in the comments below.


P.S. I’d love to meet you – introduce yourself via email, or share this post on your favourite social channel.