We are delighted to introduce you to one of our Women’s Business School graduates Brenda Utano, founder of Bekeane Active wear.
When did you start your business?
The idea had been around for about 19 years but the bravery to start the research and the business was 2016.
What was the inspiration behind starting this business?
I had been doing a program 10 years ago to lose weight and found there were no quality plus size activewear to be found…. most went up to a 16 and this is not really your average size…. fast forward to 2016 and this is still an issue and so when I pitched the idea to a group of women they were beyond excited and said this was a solution to a problem for many curvy women who want to move and exercise.
What are you most excited about in your business?
The customers abs the feedback they give us everyday about the products and how they make them feel!
What has been the most challenging thing about starting your business?
Money! Without a doubt I have not had any financial backing or support. Also doing it on your own can sometimes be very lonely.
What advice would you give to other women thinking about starting a business?
Join other women in support groups such as AusMumpreneur and ask for help or advice… women are an amazing community who are smart, strong and supportive. Do your research.
Why did you choose to do the Women’s Business School Programs?
It was a prize from winning and AusMumpreneur award and it has been the best prize ever! The modules have been exactly what is needed to run a business with real examples and I have learnt so much about where my skills are and also where they are not and I need to outsource.
What did you enjoy the most about being part of the program?
The women coming together to brainstorm and talk about their business experiences and having a business mentor.
What surprised you most about the program?
The number of things I didn’t realize I needed to do in my business to help it grow.
Which module was the most helpful and why?
The finance module, I do not live finance and I avoid it terribly. I have now outsources and have a bookkeeper… one of the best decisions for me so far.
How did the program help you in your business?
It has showed me how to focus my time in the right areas. How to ensure I can expand more easily and how to ask for help.
What has been the best thing about starting your own business?
The happiness it brings me and my customers. The flexibility to choose my own adventure … which path we will take with the business and to be able to give back which is a strong passion of mine.
Would you recommend the Women’s Business School to other women starting a business? Why?
Yes definitely. The course is well structured and practical. There is plenty of support and the feedback on assignments was helpful and added value to the lessons and workshops.
What’s happening next in your business?
We are expanding into Amazon US some amazing collaborations with some great charities.
What are your big plans for the future?
Go global and be a household name for quality leggings holding our own against the big brands
Work less with smarter systems.
PS Scholarship applications for The Women’s Business School 2022 programs are now open for a limited time. Apply today!