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Making it Concrete: Lean Canvas for Startups

I’m on the train, heading back to Glasgow after a brilliant day in Aberdeen where I co-delivered the “Making it Concrete” workshop with Heather Asiala, Programme Manager at Strathclyde Entrepreneurial Network

I thought I’d take the time to reflect on the fantastic experience I had with the 5 inspiring women entrepreneurs who I had the opportunity to meet and work with applying Lean Canvas. I met:

Nicole, founder of Relocate Guru – who is on a mission to make sure everyone feels at home as quickly as possible when relocating to a new city.  LOVE this!! Who hasn’t felt kinda lost when moving to a new city?

Ade, founder of Huubpay – which is a new payment platform that “Makes global payments easy. Made for Africa, by Africans”. 

Arizona, founder of Arizona Botaniq – who is adamant about the fact that, “Chlorine free skin equals happy skin!” I think I have to agree.  Arizona Botaniq is the world’s first natural anti-chlorine moisturiser. 

Monika, founder of Ufraction8 – who provide scalable bioprocessing technology which enables biomasss filtration, essentially a new filter without a filter which can reduce energy bills by up to 50%. 

Jayne, founder of The Gin Room – who REALLY likes gin.  The Gin Room is a celebration of the wide range of fantastic independent Scottish gins and gin makers. If you like gin, you need The Gin Room in your life.    

These brilliant entrepreneurs are halfway through a 3-day programme organised by Investing Women to support, champion and motivate women entrepreneurs as they embark on their entrepreneurial journey. 

Today’s workshop was all about Lean Canvas.  If you’ve never applied Lean Canvas, it’s a fantastic tool and thought process for gaining clarity, as well as sparking new ideas for your business.  And, today all of the entrepreneurs did just that, with our customized Lean Canvas Soundtrack playing in the background to keep us energized.  Yes, we actually have a soundtrack just for our Lean Canvas workshop!

What I found most exciting, and personally inspiring, was the willingness of these 5 women to commit fully to the process and to share openly.  It takes real courage to be honest about the good, and the “opportunities for improvement” of a young business.  They were also incredibly generous with each other… offering advice, contacts and support… there was a true sense of comradery.

I believe wholeheartedly that everyone came away from today clearer and more confident about their plan moving forward.  I’m delighted I was able to play even just a small role in helping them achieve success with their venture… whatever they define as success.  I’m certain we’ll be hearing more about this group of entrepreneurs in years to come.

While there were many highlights from the day, for me the most memorable was when the majority of the participants said they were their companies “unfair advantage”… how’s that for confidence!  I think we all could use a bit of that swagger!

Looking forward to seeing what comes next for these impressive Scottish entrepreneurs


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