Business Woman Media, a start-up founded by Amanda Rose, has continued to assert itself for the past four years as a unique online publication in a crowded media landscape.
The self-funded start-up, providing advice to a global audience of business women, went viral within three months of its launch in 2014.
Its conception began after Ms Rose’s pitches to well-established media companies were continually rejected for being too inflammatory. Fed-up with having to mellow her business advice for mainstream publications, she launched her own website within 48 hours.
“I started it purely because no one would publish what I wanted to say,” said Ms Rose.
“I wanted to tell women, especially business women, what they needed to know to succeed… and no publication was. And I thought, ‘Well fine, I’ll start my own.’”
Managing editor Karla Pincott agrees that an online space for women to share their knowledge of the business world is a worthwhile initiative.
“I think that it is useful for women to have their own site where the advice and the discussion and the profiles are by other women, and are about other women,” she said.
Amanda Rose, a strategic consultant alongside various other business roles, chose to self-fund the website to ensure a publication of high quality content, and to maintain control over all areas of its growth.
“I made sure that I had no investors in the business… which is painful because you work literally to fund it. Only in the past year has it started paying for itself and making money,” Ms Rose said.
Like most media agencies, Business Woman Media derives income from advertising revenue. However careful consideration is given to which advertisers are granted space on the website.
“We also want to make sure that even the ads are adding value to our readers. Advertisers that come to us are taken through quite a rigorous process… I actually discuss with them [advertisers] what do they have to give to our audience,” Ms Rose said.
Amanda Rose is confident her start-up has filled a niche within the media market, but acknowledges the future growth of Business Woman Media relies on day-to-day operation.
“Every year it goes to the next level. We have very strict targets on what we want to achieve; content wise, advertising wise, before we invest further,” Ms Rose said.
“It’s a five-year investment before it really brings in the gains so I’ve got another two years before I can start smiling, before I can stress a little less!”
While Ms Rose securely holds the reigns, the six-person Business Woman Media team works hard to ensure the publication maintains its status as an online destination for quality business content.
“It was a massive risk. It was a lot of money and I did it on my own. Thank goodness my web developer is a personal friend that I can rely on no matter what at any time. And my editor, I was blessed with her… If it wasn’t for those two it wouldn’t have happened,” Ms Rose said.
In a media landscape dominated by the death of long-form journalism and the rise of aggregated content, Business Woman Media believes its investment in original content will ensure its longevity.
“We do not publish duplicate content. There’s no point in us publishing something that you can read somewhere else,” said Karla Pincott.
Ms Rose’s wealth of business knowledge came from many years spent conquering the ‘man’s world’ of corporate ladders and company boards. As a minority in the business world, she favours a pragmatic approach to business advice over the flattery and false hopes given by other media outlets.
“I think women have been given the wrong impression of how easy it is to start a business and run a business and it’s the hardest thing they’ll ever do. It’s death,” Ms Rose said.
“We’re honest about how to do it and what’s involved… more women would succeed because they wouldn’t rush into it.”
Jennifer Aitchison, NSW Shadow Minister for Small Business, believes inveterate societal expectations have prevented women from excelling in Australia’s start-up sphere.
“Unfortunately, the entrepreneurial and start-up landscape is dominated by men and we need to encourage increased female participation in this space,” said Ms Aitchison, the Member for Maitland.
“As a society, we need to change the regressive attitudes that women are solely responsible for domestic tasks and encourage men to become more involved in these activities. We need to encourage young women to pursue careers in traditionally ‘male jobs’ like STEM industries.” – Sinéad Fogarty