I don’t think I fully realized how challenging it would be to start a business that relied on technology, as a 50-something woman, until I created Frugl. While running a PR agency, I worked with a developer to create a CRM for our agency. We developed our first website in 1995 for the Agency and I even learnt a bit of Dreamweaver so I could make changes if required. I’ve always thought of myself as a ‘techy’ person and my parents instilled in me that I could do anything I put my mind to. So, it came as something of a surprise when I set up Frugl that I was treated exactly the opposite. I’ve had to deal with ageism and sexism and accept that my experience and years of working around and with computers doesn’t seem to count for much when the perception of a tech entrepreneur is a twenty-something (usually white) guy. While many women might choose to give up, it has made me even more determined to succeed!"
Q: What's Frugl?
A: Frugl is a marketplace that helps people on a budget find affordable things to do. Currently for Londoners. It is entirely self-service. Businesses with time-sensitive inventory can list, manage and promote their events and offers of Frugl to go live immediately on web and mobile apps. Our competitors have yet to adopt the entirely self-service model, nor enable vendors to discount their events on their platforms. We're currently for Londoners only, but have plans to expand across the UK shortly.
Q: Tell us a funny or embarrassing moment that happened to you as an entrepreneur?
A: Not exactly hysterical but in the very early days we were working with a guy on our financial model. He worked up some numbers and concluded we would be worth £5b in 5 year’s time!
Q: Who’s is an entrepreneur today that you admire?
A: Anyone who sticks with it. The founders of Airbnb - Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia and Nathan Blecharczyk strike me as being tenacious. They went through quite a few different iterations of their platform before they finally arrived at what we all know as Airbnb. That, in addition to being turned down by quite a few VCs but persevering – we know the feeling!