As CEO and founder of Blooming Founders, the community and support ecosystem for early stage female entrepreneurs, Lu Li needs little introduction. Suffice to say, we’re over the moon she’s joining our Leading Authentically panel as part of C&C’s International Women’s Day celebrations. A mentor at the Google Launchpad accelerator and part of the Techstars community leadership team, as well as the author of Dear Female Founder, we can’t wait to hear how she’s navigated the path to leadership. Here’s a quick snapshot ahead of next week’s event:

Lu Li, Blooming Founders

What does authentic leadership mean to you?
Authentic leadership is when you are not afraid to share challenges with your team and show vulnerability when the going gets tough. Don’t think that you have to shoulder everything. Honest communication is the best way to build trust and find support when you need it most.

How is your organisation fostering a culture of diversity?
We’re working to increase diversity in the startup ecosystem by upskilling and creating more opportunities for female entrepreneurs. At the same time, we’re also fostering a culture of INCLUSION by opening our doors to men in the ecosystem. Some women tell me that they don’t like that men are allowed too – and I tell them that they are missing out on opportunities.

In your experience, what are the challenges you see facing female leaders today?  
The three key factors in my opinion are: not being taken seriously, having to shoulder childcare responsibility and, in entrepreneurship specifically, lack of funding.

How do you define success?
There’s two levels of success for me. Personally, it’s about financial and creative freedom. Professionally it’s creating something new and proving that it works.

And what’s the leadership lesson you’d share?
Observe carefully what’s happening. Change the things you can, let go of the ones you can’t.

 

For more information on this event please get in touch with Sophie: sophie@candcsearch.co.uk