40 Minute Mentor: Debbie Wosskow OBE

“Every business that I’ve founded has been on the brink of disaster, and one of the big lessons is that the business you started is never the business you end up with.”

And just like that, we have made it to the final episode of Series 10 of 40 Minute Mentor.

For our series finale, we’re joined by multi-exit Founder, Investor, board advisor and author – the brilliant Debbie Wosskow OBE.

We cover a range of topics with Debbie, including her whirlwind journey as an entrepreneur – building and exiting incredible businesses, including PR and marketing consultancy Mantra (sold in 2007), Love Home Swap (sold in 2017) and AllBright (exit in 2022). 

All the way to today and her latest ventures – WJV LLP, a boutique investment and strategic innovation firm, championing diversity, wellness and economic empowerment, and The Better Menopause, empowering women’s performance at midlife through science-backed products. 

Debbie shares some truly candid insights from her journey as a Founder, including:

➡️ Growing up in an entrepreneurial family [04:20]

➡️ Early beginnings selling scrunchies [06:30] 

➡️ The power of being a “simple” entrepreneur and controlling margins [07:07]

➡️ Bringing business & entrepreneurship into schools [08:33]

➡️ A brief stint in management consulting & building her first business at 25 [11:36]

➡️ How a Christmas film inspired the start of Love Home Swap [13:37]

➡️ Serendipity and combining purpose with profit [15:35]

➡️ Reflections on having fun, making money and not working with ar$eholes [17:17]

➡️ Finding the resilience to keep getting back into the Founder seat [19:55]

➡️ Making the shift from operational CEO to board advisor [21:34]

➡️ Self-doubt, exhaustion, relationship strains: Founder realities [22:55]

➡️ Finding comfort in a routine when things are falling apart [26:39]

➡️ Building a network for women, by women – the early days and growth of AllBright [29:00]

➡️ Building WJV LLP and going beyond angel investing [33:20]

➡️ Putting women’s health top of the agenda & building The Better Menopause [36:54]

➡️ Driving awareness at pace and supporting women through the menopause [40:22]

➡️ Realities of building a business to exit & the conflicting emotions you’re left with as a Founder  [41:45]

➡️ Audience question: Being remembered for the future of female entrepreneurs [46:45]

Helpful links:

➡️ Connect with Debbie: https://www.linkedin.com/in/debbiewosskowobe/
➡️ Find out more about WJV LLP: https://www.wjv-llp.com/about-us 
➡️ Find out more about The Better Menopause: https://thebettermenopause.com/ 

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