At midnight on New Year’s Eve 2019 I was one of many to raise a glass of prosecco, my eyes glinting in the glow of fireworks as I declared that 2020 was going to be my year. I had big plans for a career revamp and surely nothing could stop me.
Yet for me, as for thousands of women, the COVID-19 pandemic wrought havoc on my carefully laid plans. As the year creeps to a close I certainly won’t be the only one eyeing 31st December 2020 with some despondency. Furloughs and widespread redundancies have meant that for many of us the last 12 months haven’t offered up much reason to celebrate. But some women have managed to turn the challenges of the year into a success story.
For these women, the uncertainty of 2020 turned out to be an opportunity. Whether transforming a redundancy into a brand-new career or persevering with a long-held plan in spite of the odds seemingly stacked against them, they all managed to launch a business during lockdown (pretty impressive, considering that my finest achievement turned out to be bingeing all of Tiger King in one bizarre sitting). In tough times it can be uplifting to celebrate success so we asked these women how they made it work. These are their stories.