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Shifting the Paradigm: A Neurodiverse Entrepreneur’s Story

Meet Stephanie Wilson, a trailblazing entrepreneur reshaping perceptions of autism in business. With an accounting and law degree, she’s defied societal norms, leveraging her neurodiversity as a strength. Launching “She’s in Business” during the global lockdown, Stephanie empowers women to build consulting enterprises. Recognized as “Female Entrepreneur of the Year” and “Most Influential Leader,” she’s pioneered free training programs benefitting thousands globally, aiming to redefine women’s entrepreneurship beyond business skills. Stephanie’s journey embodies resilience, innovation, and empowerment, making her a transformative leader breaking barriers and leaving a lasting impact.

Can you tell us about your journey as an entrepreneur, especially considering your background in accounting and law?

My entrepreneurial path wasn’t a straight road; it had been met with hardships that tested my will. In 2016, I was at a crossroads, a single, new mother living in a refuge with my infant son, I had fled hundreds of miles from my home to a refuge in Lincoln, my world was living in donated clothes, sharing a single bed with my baby, to scared to let my son sleep in and miss a feed in case I stopped producing milk and could afford formula.  It was then I vowed to reshape my destiny. Returning to university for accounting and law was a leap toward stability, but it was the world of coaching that sparked the fire within me. It was where I found my calling – guiding women to unlock financial freedom through their existing skills and experiences.

How did you navigate societal pressures and communication challenges as a neurodiverse entrepreneur, and what advice would you offer to others facing similar obstacles?

Being neurodiverse, with autism, ADHD, and dyslexia, has often meant swimming against the current in a sea of societal expectations.  I mean in reality I didn’t suffer, I just kept myself to myself and adapted to living an isolated life, lockdown helped me with that. Communication wasn’t just a barrier; it was my nemesis. Yet, it was also my secret weapon. My advice? Wear your neurodiversity-like armour. It’s what makes you uniquely capable of seeing solutions where others see problems. Embrace technology, it’s your ally. Let your ideas flow, find your tribe, and never underestimate the power of a supportive community. If it weren’t for my neurodiversity, Autism, ADHD, and dyslexia, I would have the talent for problem-solving and creating processes out of the multiple priorities of women’s lives and the chaos of the world. As a mum of now 5, 2 of the child with additional needs, and a foster child, I know about priorities, and I know how to create order in the chaos.

What inspired you to launch “She’s in Business,” and how does it empower professional women in the consulting industry?

“She’s in Business” wasn’t just an idea; it was a clarion call to action, birthed from the fiery commitment to rewrite the narrative for women in the economy, through financial independence through entrepreneurship.  Knowing I will never have to have the government and charities save me and my children and provide for us again is my motivation. It’s more than empowerment; it’s about creating a battalion of women armed with the acumen to transform their expertise into thriving enterprises. We’re not just participating in the industry; we’re leading it.

Could you share some insights into your experience being recognized as “Female Entrepreneur of the Year” and “Most Influential Leader”?

Earning titles like “Female Entrepreneur of the Year” wasn’t just recognition for me, but for every woman who dared to dream alongside me. These titles are milestones on a journey marked by collective strength and the relentless pursuit of turning passion into influence.

What motivated you to start a free, accredited training program for over 7,000 women globally, and what impact do you hope it will have?

The drive to launch a free, accredited training program for women came from a place of profound empathy. Having felt the sting of financial insecurity, I want to build bridges for women to cross from the uncertainty of the millions of tiny pieces of information on YouTube and the internet as a whole, which take years and years to piece together any kind of business plan, let alone the ability to construct that around our own lifestyle and business ideas.  A complete free training that gave women the knowledge, framework, validation, belief, and creditability to turn their experience and skills into a profitable business. Training over 7,000 women isn’t just a number; it’s a testament to what can be achieved when we invest in each other’s growth.

 In what ways do you believe your platform and training program redefine the role of women in entrepreneurship?

Our platform isn’t just redefining women’s roles in entrepreneurship; it’s given women the skills and belief that they can become financially independent. We’re fostering a world where women’s businesses aren’t just surviving but thriving, becoming benchmarks of innovation and success. We are moving out of position in the economy, no longer our value is just free caregivers.

How do you envision equipping women with CEO-level skills to create lasting legacies through their businesses?

Equipping women with CEO-level skills is about creating a legacy. It’s not merely about business success; it’s about crafting stories of triumph that will inspire generations of women to come.

Can you elaborate on your perspective that starting a business should be more than just a means of survival, but a pathway to power and positive impact?

Starting a business, for me, has always been about challenging the status quo. It’s a means to build not just a livelihood but a legacy. It’s about turning the power dynamics on their head and using business as a platform for advocacy and transformative change.

What are some key principles or strategies you’ve employed to turn challenges into opportunities throughout your entrepreneurial journey?

If my journey has taught me anything, it’s that challenges are merely opportunities in disguise, because I then overcome them and share the exact process with other women. Whether finding new ways to communicate as a neurodiverse individual or turning personal pain into professional gain, the key is to stay focused on your vision and let your passion fuel your path.

How do you see your work empowering women extending beyond business success and making a global impact?

The impact of empowering women stretches far beyond business success; it’s about sparking a global movement. It’s women, once bound by their circumstances, now breaking free and forging paths for others to follow. It’s about creating a world where women’s financial empowerment is a norm, not an exception.

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