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Wednesday, August 10, 2022

"Lack of role models is one of the main reasons holding back a lot of women"

Denmark should be the perfect place to start a business for female entrepreneurs, says the CEO and founder of EasySize.

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Gulnaz Khusainova wants to encourage women entrepreneurs

Meanwhile Girls in Tech Paris launches for the fifth time the biggest pan-European competition for female-founded startups, last year’s winner Danish EasySize – a service helping the online shoppers predict their sizes – shares their growth story with us.

In 2014, over 200 startups from 22 countries applied for Lady Pitch Night, which aims on giving more visibility to woman entrepreneurs and encourages diversity in the tech industry. For EasySize, the competition opened several new opportunities and paths for growth, says the CEO and founder Gulnaz Khusainova:

“In just 9 months we gathered a database with more than 400.000 unique users and more than 500 fashion brands. EasySize is proven to decrease returns by 35–40%, save 5–7% of revenue and increase sales by providing the correct size.”

The service was launched officially in October 2014, and now they’ve expanded to a total of seven shops. EasySize is available for 18 languages, including English, French, German and Danish.

Focusing on feedback

Lady Pitch Night gave a big boost for the company, as EasySize got the opportunity to participate to biggest conferences taking place in Europe describes Khusainova: “Participating, and later winning the main prize helped me understand the importance of being focused and yet open for a feedback.”

“Ask for criticism, not a compliment is a phrase I heard at the competition and I’ve used it ever since. I met a lot of amazing people and following this rule allowed me to get the most out of those meetings and talks,” she continues.

The competition helped EasySize also to get connected with different people, such as leading media, investors, advisors and mentors.

“We raised angels investments and got on board amazing and experienced angels: Klaus Nyengaard, Hampus Jakobsson, Alain Sarfati, Franck Bergonzo, Nicolas Santi-Weil and Fashion Capital Partners,” Khusainova lists.

Encouraging female entrepreneurs through example

As talking about a competition created especially for female-founded startups, Khusainova says that putting interesting and growing startups in the spotlight might help to overcome regular gender bias – and help getting the needed introductions to media and investors. She also emphasises the importance of making successful female entrepreneurs visible to encourage other women considering starting their own businesses:

“Lack of role models, is one of the main reasons holding back a lot of women. So the more live examples we have, the easier it will be to start your own path.”

“I think, the key is an open dialogue about the issues and opportunities to make tech community more open for women,” Khusainova continues.

The founder of EasySize says she’s happy to see more and more women starting their businesses in Denmark, but there’s still a lot to be done – And Khusainova is a great example of those courageous women female-entrepreneurs since she moved from Russia to Denmark to develop her business.

“As for me, Denmark – as one of the most open-minded countries – should be a perfect place to start a business,” states Khusainova.

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