Member Reviews

Female Founders’ Playbook is a practical guide for entrepreneurs looking to turn their innovative ideas into action, grow their team and secure the necessary funding for their business needs. Written by Starling Bank founder Anne Boden, she pens her entrepreneurial journey in setting up a digital bank as a female founder. This chapter of her life was not without challenges, having initially spent over 30 years working for major banks prior to embarking into the unknown.

I found it interesting to see that Anne had also included narratives from many other successful women entrepreneurs, with insights on building high-growth ventures, putting together a winning team, positioning a business and fundraising strategies. Their businesses span across various sectors, sharing little gems they picked up along the way. However, the formatting of the e-book copy could have used more refining, as there were many instances when I was unsure if I was reading a passage written by Anne or by one of her contributors.

Whilst the book specified many anecdotes relating to being a female founder and how women make exceptional entrepreneurs, the lessons and advice can similarly benefit male counterparts requiring an easy-to-follow guide offering straightforward suggestions on how to navigate through their entrepreneurial journey. I believe new or aspiring entrepreneurs may find the book useful, as basic concepts are explained in simple terms and perspectives are shared with great intention to provide guidance. This book would be especially practical if you’re seeking a step-by-step on how to fundraise, from crafting the pitch deck up to the negotiation stage when being offered an investment. I particularly appreciated Anne for including equity crowdfunding too as a viable route for fundraising, by raising money from a large crowd consisting of stakeholders within your own business, personal circle and the wider public.

Anne also emphasises the value of regularly changing your mentors at each stage of the business and choosing the right ones, which is good advice if you are focusing on building your career too. Anne is no longer the CEO of Starling Bank after she stepped down from her role in 2023, but her story of growing a unicorn and offering customer-first financial services will continue to live on.

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This, while moving, did read like others in the career woman genre. Is that bad? I don't think so. It had so many experiences chalked in. I felt like I was in a listening room with a lot of greats. That's surely worth the ticket (book cost) admission. It did get a little repetitive in places, but there was enough to highlight, so I still liked it, ultimately. It's a 3.7, rounded.

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This book is brilliant!

Well written, inspiring and practical.

It was really interesting to hear so many strong female voices talk about the process of their success as entrepreneurs.

Despite declaring there is ‘no playbook’ the structure does provide a toolkit and structured information to support an entrepreneur at all stages of a start-up. The glossary of terms was also useful.

I felt the book is unique and offers something new and innovative in the ‘business book space’.

I recommend it wholeheartedly and will be buying it for one of my friends.

Thank you to net gallery for the chance to read in return for an unbiased review.

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As someone just starting my own business, this book seemed to be a perfect companion for my research. However, the book was difficult to read on my Kindle due to the formatting not being finalized. I got lost in the sea of all the many people referenced and ytheir experiences in their businesses. The book bounced between first person and second person narratives as well as interjecting the narrator's thoughts and questions. It was just very difficult to stay focused. I was expecting a more research-style book on proven success theories in female entrepreneurship and this was just too intertwined with stories of success. I was appreciative of the glossary of terms in the back so I could reference things I wasn't familiar with.

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