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7 Women Who Transformed Their Passion Into An Awesome Business Idea

Impactful, purpose-led business is where utmost passion meets hard work. Get inspired by the people like you who have turned their ideas into businesses with Grant Thornton.

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1. Bethany Koby, Technology Will Save Us

Tech Will Save Us sparks kids’ creativity with their make-it-yourself tech kits. Bethany, along with Daniel Hirschmann, came up with the idea in 2012 after the sight of a discarded laptop got her thinking about our relationship with technology. Tech Will Save Us is equipping young people with the skills they’ll need for the modern world in a fun, hands-on way. They’ve even worked will the BBC to develop the micro:bit, which has helped hundreds of thousands of kids learn to code.
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Tech Will Save Us sparks kids’ creativity with their make-it-yourself tech kits. Bethany, along with Daniel Hirschmann, came up with the idea in 2012 after the sight of a discarded laptop got her thinking about our relationship with technology. Tech Will Save Us is equipping young people with the skills they’ll need for the modern world in a fun, hands-on way. They’ve even worked will the BBC to develop the micro:bit, which has helped hundreds of thousands of kids learn to code.

2. Morna Simpson, Girl Geek Scotland

When Morna was a lecturer of interactive media back in 2008, she noticed a drop-off in women taking her course. She felt the female perspective was missing in her industry, so she began the Girl Geek Scotland organisation, which supports the careers of women in digital tech by focussing on creativity, computing, and enterprise in each special event and course. From classroom to boardroom, it is Morna’s passion to eliminate gender inequality in the STEM field, and so far her work is having an impact.
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When Morna was a lecturer of interactive media back in 2008, she noticed a drop-off in women taking her course. She felt the female perspective was missing in her industry, so she began the Girl Geek Scotland organisation, which supports the careers of women in digital tech by focussing on creativity, computing, and enterprise in each special event and course. From classroom to boardroom, it is Morna’s passion to eliminate gender inequality in the STEM field, and so far her work is having an impact.

3. Nancy Johnston, Tengri

Nancy came up with her kick-ass business idea while fulfilling a lifelong dream – living with nomadic herder families in Mongolia. She wrote her first business plan on the back of a chocolate wrapper in a yurt! Tengri is a luxury lifestyle brand that uses soft, breathable, hypoallergenic yarn from the Khangai yak. And that’s not the only reason Nancy’s business is special – Tengri also has a 100% transparent supply chain, ensuring local herders get their fair share.
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Nancy came up with her kick-ass business idea while fulfilling a lifelong dream – living with nomadic herder families in Mongolia. She wrote her first business plan on the back of a chocolate wrapper in a yurt! Tengri is a luxury lifestyle brand that uses soft, breathable, hypoallergenic yarn from the Khangai yak. And that’s not the only reason Nancy’s business is special – Tengri also has a 100% transparent supply chain, ensuring local herders get their fair share.

4. Tugce Bulut, Streetbees

As a specialist in global labour standards, Tugce created a way for organisations to increase their impact through access to unbiased, agile research that pays participants fairly for their input. Streetbees unlocks this access through its proprietary "conversational research" technology, which is custom built for in-the-moment data capture. This photo, video, and open-text data is then analysed via natural language processing and machine learning, revolutionising the old-fashioned market research model.
Courtesy of Tugce Bulut

As a specialist in global labour standards, Tugce created a way for organisations to increase their impact through access to unbiased, agile research that pays participants fairly for their input. Streetbees unlocks this access through its proprietary "conversational research" technology, which is custom built for in-the-moment data capture. This photo, video, and open-text data is then analysed via natural language processing and machine learning, revolutionising the old-fashioned market research model.

5. Kalpna Woolf, 91 Ways To Build A Global City

Kalpna dreamt of uniting Bristol’s 91 language communities by focussing on one of her passions known for bringing people together: food. This organisation holds food-themed events highlighting people’s ability to share about themselves, learn about others, and come together in celebrating the differences that make Bristol such a special place to call home.
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Kalpna dreamt of uniting Bristol’s 91 language communities by focussing on one of her passions known for bringing people together: food. This organisation holds food-themed events highlighting people’s ability to share about themselves, learn about others, and come together in celebrating the differences that make Bristol such a special place to call home.

6. Kathryn Tyler and Nikki Cochrane, Digital Mums

Kathryn and Nikki didn't like that around 54,000 women per year in the UK lose their jobs due to maternity discrimination and that another 2.6 million mums aren’t currently working, who might want to if they could work around their families. Enter Digital Mums, their social media and digital skill–building organisation that equips mums with in-demand skills so they can find rewarding, flexible careers.
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Kathryn and Nikki didn't like that around 54,000 women per year in the UK lose their jobs due to maternity discrimination and that another 2.6 million mums aren’t currently working, who might want to if they could work around their families. Enter Digital Mums, their social media and digital skill–building organisation that equips mums with in-demand skills so they can find rewarding, flexible careers.

7. Sharon Watson, Phoenix Dance Theatre Group

Sharon's dream of expanding dance opportunities for the inner city of Leeds fuelled the massive achievements of the Phoenix Dance Theatre Group under her leadership. The diversity-celebrating group is now the largest space for dance outside of London and is the only space to house a national classical and national contemporary dance company.
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Sharon's dream of expanding dance opportunities for the inner city of Leeds fuelled the massive achievements of the Phoenix Dance Theatre Group under her leadership. The diversity-celebrating group is now the largest space for dance outside of London and is the only space to house a national classical and national contemporary dance company.

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