Intake: August 2008
Current Roles: CEO and Co-founder of Inclusively
Describe your business and your role within it
Inclusively is a platform that helps employers accommodate candidates with disabilities at scale. I am the CEO and Co-Founder.
How did you get into this line of business?
After Mountbatten, I was fortunate enough to get a job with my company in NY when the program ended. I fell in love with London during Mountbatten and convinced them to move me back 2 years later. Once I had been back in London for a couple of years, I quit my job and started my first company with my best friend. We ended up selling that company to American Express and around the same time, my cousin became the first licensed facialist in the state of Florida with Down Syndrome. I knew after getting my first facial from her, that I had to start this company. And thankfully, another best friend (and my roommate during Mountbatten), decided to go on the adventure with me!
How did you go about setting it up and getting established?
Always start with a business plan. It helps you identify what you need to do and what questions you need to answer. Once you have that, google and cold emailing are the next phase. You need to be fearless and not afraid of what people think or of embarrassing yourself. If you don’t ask, you don’t get! If you keep at it, you will wake up one day and realize you established a company!
What else is in the pipeline?
There are a lot of inequalities that have been brought to light over the past years. We want to ensure that everything we create to help people with disabilities can also be applied to other underinvested in populations.
What has been the proudest moment in your working life thus far?
Closing a round of funding while in the hospital going into labour with my son. Over 250 people told us no, but my team and I just believed in what we were building and wouldn’t take no for an answer. We would digest the feedback and apply learnings, but never did we want to give up. It just so happened when we finally got investors over the line, I was very pregnant, and very much going into labour!
Who are your role models?
Richard Branson and Oprah Winfrey
What has been your biggest mistake/learning experience?
There are way too many to choose one, but what I have learned is that my gut intuition is always right. When I usually go against it, bad things happen. Sometimes you have to make short-term decisions that are more difficult in order to prevent long term mistakes.
Any words of advice/wisdom would you impart to others thinking of setting up their own business?
Never give up. Starting a company is about becoming flawless at executing Plan B.