Best Foot Forward – Women Business Leaders x 8 (part 1)

In The Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs 2018, Romania was ranking 9th among the countries with the highest percentage of businesses owned by women. The results of the study have shown that, of all businesses in Romania, 28.9 percent are owned by women. Sounds optimistic? We talked with eight women entrepreneurs about the local business environment.

Anamaria Georgescu, owner Masa Casa

Business profile: horeca

Advice for aspiring entrepreneurs: Challenge yourself but do the work you care about, in that way you will be successful.

Have you always wanted to be an entrepreneur?

No, but I was always motivated by getting things done, this was my main drive and I believe this is a feature that kicked off my entrepreneurial endeavour. I come from a corporate background, and one day I passed by this lovely place that had a rental sign on the window – that was the moment that sparked the idea to kick start a restaurant that was a novelty in Romania – a ketogenic diet restaurant.

How do you maintain a good work life balance?

Prioritising and playing to your strengths are two of the key things that help me maintain a healthy work life balance; there will always be a hundred things to be done, but if you focus on those that are on your strengths and dispatch the remaining ones to people that exhibit strengths for those, everyone will be more happy. Valuing the expertise and the time of the people around you will also lead to a better balanced work-life ratio.

Maria Dermengiu, Creator & Founder Marie Nouvelle Design

Business profile: design

Advice for aspiring entrepreneurs: Do not quit, persevere, learn more skills, adapt and have real, genuine interest towards people, towards your clients. Never forget you create, you bring something in the world not for yourself but for others.

What have you found the most rewarding about setting up your business?

Independence through making my own vision come to life. The most rewarding thing for an entrepreneur I believe is the satisfaction from getting results. When you create something and people respond to it, then you feel it was all worthwhile. 

What quality do you think you need to be a successful entrepreneur and businesswoman?

You need multiple qualities such as discipline, perseverance, ambition, passion for your work, multi tasking abilities, and last but not least, optimism. 

Alina Iancu, founder Crame Romania

Business profile: wine consultancy

Advice for aspiring entrepreneurs: Do what you love! But be realistic, know your strengths and weaknesses.

Have you always wanted to be an entrepreneur?

I started working like an entrepreneur 18th years ago, two years after I arrived in Bucharest to study. It’s my way, I don’t know any other. And today I still have that job in the shoe industry (shoes accessories like heels and soles) mixed with my wine projects. Not easy at all, but it’s what I chose.

 

What have you found the most rewarding about setting up your business?

My evolution, everything I have learned in this time, but also the appreciation and support of the people. I met different kinds of people in different businesses. It’s been a big gain.

Andreea Chirica, illustrator

Business profile: graphic design

Advice for aspiring entrepreneurs: My advice is to give up. And to try to remember that it takes time for your work to pay up. The first years are really tough. Also it’s really important to be flexible and to drop what’s not working.

What have you found the most rewarding about setting up your business?

Being a very small business (just me and my online shop) you really get to know your customers. Whenever I am able to meet my clients in person I get excited because I can get a “live” feedback from them and i can see who likes my work. Fortunately, most of my commissions have been about subjects or themes that I enjoy or that I consider to be very important, from poetry and humour to feminism and social injustice. 

What quality do you think you need to be a successful entrepreneur and businesswoman?

I will speak from my experience as an illustrator, I don’t know how it is with other businesses: You need to be consistent. It sounds boring, but you need to become a brand, to be really hard working, flexible and really present in social media (wanted or not). It takes as much effort to make your work known as to make the work itself.

Writer: Oana Vasiliu

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