Too scared to start your own business? Jenny Dawson offers her 6 top tips for success

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  • Past winner of the Veuve Clicquot New Generation Award shares her tips for being a successful business woman.

    Got a big idea? Sometimes all you need is the courage to go for it – and Jenny Dawson is the proof.

    The 27-year-old founder of Rubies in the Rubble was working for a Mayfair hedgefund when she came up with the concept for her new venture. She had seen how many perfectly edible fruits and vegetables are discarded from London markets and decided to use the surplus produce to make jams and chutneys. Thus, Rubies in the Rubble was born.

    Jenny started her company in 2011, and she’s come a long way since, receiving the Veuve Clicquot New Generation Award for her achievement in business in 2014.

    ‘For Veuve Clicquot to follow our progress and growth and see potential in what we are building and acknowledge it, is incredibly encouraging,’ she tells Marie Claire.

    Jenny said she also feels honoured to receive an award that highlight’s women in business. ‘I have never felt challenged by being a women, but I do think women in business need to be recognised to encourage more women into leading positions. I love that Veuve Clicquot celebrates women in positions of leadership.’

    So how did Jenny accomplish so much at such a young age – and how can you follow suit? It certainly wasn’t easy – but she insists it is doable. Here are her top tips:

    1. Start small.
    Jenny said the hardest part of launching Rubies in the Rubble was knowing where to start. ‘We started first on a very small scale, testing ideas and the market, and then grew a range from there.’

    2. Do what you love.
    ‘People thrive when they are working for something that they are truly passionate about,’ Jenny says.

    3. Share your ideas.
    Jenny attributes much of her success to the fact that she talked about her plans and shared her ideas with people in the industry. ‘You learn from everyone.’

    4. Don’t get discouraged.

    She’s loving her job now, but Jenny admits there were times she wanted to give up. But she always stayed focused and continued to revisit her original goals.

    5. Work with good people.
    Jenny recognises that her business is not a one-woman show, and she’s grateful for her ‘wonderful business partner: Alicia Lawson. There’s no way Rubies in the Rubble would have grown without her.’

    6. Take risks.
    ‘Fear of failure seems to hold a lot of people back from doing something radical or making a change,’ Jenny says. ‘It’s deceivingly powerful. The worst that can happen is you try it and it completely flops. You may lose a bit of time and cash. but you’ll definitely learn a lot in the process and, having made the move, come back with more knowledge and experience than before to launch into a new adventure.’

    For more career inspiration and advice, visit our MC@Work section.

    Looking for more career inspo? It’s not too late to book tickets for Marie Claire’s @ Work Live, in association with Cointreau and Next. A one-day event on 23 April 2016, featuring advice, tips and inspiration from incredible speakers.

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