Her impact is an online platform which helps young girls and women shape their career. Today I talk to the management team – Aleksandra Perepelytsia, Urszula Chwiećko and Zofia Siejewicz about their experience with developing business model for the platform.
Agnieszka Węglarz: When I first met your team before you joined Business Model Mastering you were virtually exploding with ideas ☺ Has anything changed in the way that you work on your business development since you have graduated from BMM?
Honestly, a lot has changed. First of all, our work is more consistent and orderly. We have conducted user and non-user research and on that basis we have created buyer personas to which we currently adjust all our activities. We have also verified our current offer, where we have also made some significant changes. To sum up – a lot of good changes have happened since the Business Model Mastering ended, but what is most important for us is that we know how much work is ahead and where we want to be at the end.
Agnieszka: I would like to come back shortly to the roots Her impact. Where did the idea come from? What was the initial business concept?
As young women working for corporations we were struggling to reach our full potential and found it hard to develop our skills and confidence in business. During that time, we needed support and mentoring, both from other women like us and more experienced people. It was frustrating for us to find out that women like we are not well represented in the business market. Not in Poland and not in the rest of the world. Her impact is our attempt to solve those problems.
Her impact’s vision is to develop young women to maximize their potential through unique business tool (based on AI) and supportive global community and mentorship. Initial business idea was actually quite similar to what we are trying to develop now. We assumed 3 monetization methods for the Her Impact platform: B2C – premium user subscription, B2B – corporate monthly subscription, 15-30 % cross-selling commission.
Agnieszka: What were the biggest challenges at the early stage of your platform development? Where did you see the biggest “hurdles”?
The biggest challenge at the early stage was the development of the b2b part and convincing corporate partners to start cooperation with us. We were aware that the cooperation with big companies/popular brands will help us to promote Her Impact, gain financial resources to maintain the business and build the community, which will further help us to develop the b2c model (Her Path- AI module).
Agnieszka: What incentivised you to join Business Model Mastering? When and why did you realize that you need a more structured approach?
After effective implementation of the b2b model during the first six months of Her Impact activity we stood in front of the second milestone, which is the development of b2c part of the business. Successful creation of our products and Her Path module (AI part) will have a huge impact on further growth of the start-up, therefore we wanted to build solid grounds and structure, and decided to join BMM.
Agnieszka: What were the biggest “aha moments” during the Programme? What were the key turning points when working on your business model?
There were several of them actually. First one is the segmentation process and creation of buyer personas, that was the moment when we understood that we actually don’t know too much about our users and their needs. This moment completely changed our plans in the project and led to a change of priorities.
Another important thing that we realized was the importance of focus in project development. Before that we thought that with our actions we could reach several target groups simultaneously, which is not true. Now we focus only on two groups, which we can reach in the fastest and easiest way.
Also, during our work on the business model we realized how to create synergy between B2C and B2B models: it was crucial for us to understand that in our case one model cannot exist without the other one. More B2C clients create more B2B clients.
Agnieszka: If you were to sum up key benefits of using the business model canva – what would it be?
The key benefit for us is undoubtedly the fact that we understood during the program that market segmentation and establishment of buyer personas is the first and most important step we need to take in order to develop our product and create a value proposition for our users.
The other benefits that we see is the review of our current business model and identification of those areas, which we need to modify. We also make a huge use of the roadmap of next steps that allows us to act and plan in a more structured way.
Agnieszka: What is unique about your platform?
The entire platform is unique :), however as our identifiers we perceive the combination of two: a community of supporting women and tailored made career paths based on AI .
We create a product that is a hybrid of linkedin, coursera and pracuj.pl. For now there is no direct competition for us on the market. Her Impact is a global social application and platform, available in Polish and English, created by psychologists, career counselors and business leaders, on which users can develop professionally and personally, and use their full potential through:
– becoming members of the powerful and supportive Her Impact community,
– building skills and increasing self-confidence after completing a unique development path based on artificial intelligence,
– getting in touch with leading companies on the market and using your own professional potential.
Agnieszka: What would you recommend to startups at the beginning of their road? If you were to begin once again with your current knowledge and experience – what would you do differently?
- At the beginning of the road it’s very important to set goals and focus on them no matter what. We realized that there is always a lot of possibilities and you cannot use all of them. So focus on the most important things that will help you to grow and don’t lose your energy on anything else.
- Talk to your existing and potential clients regularly. You will never get such insights about your product like when talking to your users.
- You need to know your client very well. You need to know their needs and expectations – you cannot base your products on your own theses without proving them.
- Be open to the opinion of people who are more experienced than you are. Take a chance to participate in such programs as Business Model Mastering, it can help you a lot!
Agnieszka: What are your plans for the future, how do you intend to grow further?
There are many plans, closer and far-reaching. We can see how many things we’ve managed since March, when the platform was launched, so we are filled with motivation and willingness to act.
The biggest plan is to launch the Her Path module with personalised career paths (b2c). We also want to expand further our community and the group of experts, we are planning several large partnership projects for the next year and have ideas for new forms of b2b cooperation once the b2c model is in place. So as you can see there is a lot to do, but nothing gonna stop us now!
Agnieszka: Thank you all very much for sharing your story and experience with our readers.
Agnieszka Węglarz is an independent consultant, business strategist and practitioner in B2B and B2C, as well as lecturer, speaker and blogger. She has over 20 years of professional experience working as manager in both large corporations and SMEs, where she was responsible for strategy, marketing and business development. She uses her long term executive experience and training expertise to assist companies and their managers in building their business strategy using a workshop methodology. She specializes in business modeling, segmentation, value proposition, sales and marketing strategies as well as consultative selling. She runs her own consultancy business, as well as cooperates with Google for Startups Campus in Warsaw as the leading expert in Business Model Mastering – a Program for European startups providing founders and their teams with a structured approach to run their company and accelerate their growth. Agnieszka is an author of many business publications. You can read her writing on her business blog on www.agnieszkaweglarz.com and watch her business content on her YouTube channel – Biznes Ring by Agnieszka Węglarz. You can contact her by writing to: email@example.com or directly by sending a message via LinkedIN.
Aleksandra Perepelytsia – Community and Partnership Manager in Her Impact.
Project and event manager with an experience in implementing projects from the public and private sectors. Coordinator of events ‐ conferences and congresses with +400 participants. Experienced in implementing projects in the field of entrepreneurship development.
Ula Chwiećko – COO in Her Impact
HR professional with more than 10 years of experience in corporations and large companies (consulting, IT, retail). She has a proven track record of designing and implementing HR solutions (like development programmes for young talents) as well as managing different HR processes e.g. appraisal, talent management, reward and budget planning & execution, succession planning and development. Over the last few years she was working as an HR BP, closely with leadership of different teams, providing them HR day to day support and advisory (strategic and operational).
She is a big enthusiast of new technologies, start-ups and women oriented businesses. Her biggest dream is to support in creating such a business environment, where women have and feel that they have the same rights as men, and phrases like “pay gap” or “board members parity” are no longer needed.
Zofia Siejewicz – Junior Product Developer in Her Impact.
Clinical psychologist interested in product development, product usability, and user experience design. She has experience in HR research and business analysis in a large consulting company. Privately cooking & books