Maggie is currently a Master’s student at the University of Oxford. She started her first business, Shut Up & Dance, in 2015 when she was a first year student at the University of Manchester. Shut Up & Dance aims to make ballroom and latin dancing more accessible through a wider choice of stylish and affordable dancewear. She has recently co-founded Oxford Intercultural Communication & Education Group, and is now the Director of Entrepreneurship at the Oxford Guild, and serves on the Student Advisory Board of the Oxford Foundry. In 2018, she was named the 4th most influential female student in the UK by J.P. Morgan and The Tab.
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“The Girls in Charge Initiative was born out of the frustration of hearing “I love what you’re doing, I can’t possibly do that!” over and over again from female students who approach me after talks. Whilst the phrase was supposed to be flattering, all I could focus on was “why can’t you do that?” From the conversations that ensued, I heard about how people didn’t know where to start and the many myths about entrepreneurship that is putting people off. So here we are! Through a series of fun and sometimes rather silly workshops, I hope I can help more female students get into entrepreneurship, and even if you decide it’s not for you, at least the workshops will give you some transferable skills that will be useful in other career paths.”
Nikita is a 2nd year Business Economics student at the University of Leeds and became the co-author of a poetry book at the age of 16. She is the former External Speakers Director of the largest finance conference in the UK, the Leeds Finance Summit and the former editor of Maverick Youth, a popular Dubai based youth blog that focuses on global socio-economic issues. Having participated in several business competitions throughout high school, she developed a passion for simplifying the process of building different entrepreneurial ideas. Nikita was named in the 2018 Top 30 Women to Watch list by J.P. Morgan.
“The main thing that Maggie and I were thinking about when she first came up with this idea was that women as a whole tend to be more reluctant when it comes to starting new ventures. And it’s not because they’re not capable, it’s because they prefer to receive some kind of additional support at the beginning. We tried to look for initiatives that would provide aid to female university students and help them with the foundations of their planning, but nothing like that existed, so we decided just to start our own. Regardless of how seriously you are considering starting your own firm, the workshops provide an open learning environment and allow you to meet likeminded people. And who knows, you might just meet your future business partner!”