Aisha alongside three amazing women - Sara Gabriel (Founder & CEO,Sara Gabriel Veils), Miranda Wang (Co-founder & CEO, Novoloop) and Michelle DiGangi (Head of Small Business & Medium Enterprise, Bank of the West) were on the Bank of the West LinkedIn Live Panel to discuss Female Entrepreneurs "BREAK THROUGH: Who Made It Happen."
Meet The Panelist
Sara Gabriel (Founder & CEO,Sara Gabriel Veils)
The short story is that Sara launched SG in July 2000 from her tiny Denver apartment. But the full story is that the company started when Sara was a child being taught by her mom to use a sewing machine. It began in her adolescence traveling the country in her dad’s VW camper bus, cross-stitching mermaids to pass the time. It started in her teenage years as she obsessed over everything that sparkled or was even tangentially related to weddings.
Sara's goal is to make the Sara Gabriel brand the #1 bridal accessories company in the world. She plans to achieve this by designing products their customers want, at the price point they need, all while giving them a unparalleled customer service experience.
Miranda Wang (Co-founder & CEO, Novoloop)
Miranda Wang is a climate tech entrepreneur who's building the most innovative plastic transformation company. She is the Co-founder and CEO of Novoloop, a low-carbon advanced recycling and sustainable materials provider that upgrades the most common plastic waste into performance materials worth up to 50x more.
Miranda is a Forbes 30 Under 30, UN Young Champion of the Earth, and a Pritzker Environmental "Genius" Awardee. Outside of her day job, Miranda lives in San José, CA with her husband Robert. She is an avid gardener with a keen interest in landscaping with nature. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania.
Aishetu Fatima Dozie (Founder & CEO Bossy Cosmetics)
Aisha has always described herself as a "lipstick junkie" and never imagined that she'd start a global beauty brand when she started her career in finance over 20 years ago. She worked for several years as an investment banker and finance executive in the US, UK, Central and South America, and Sub-Saharan Africa. She's also founded a children's play and activity center called Paloo's Place and a media project which showcased successful African women called African HERstory.
She's always believed that women could and should strive for career heights on their own terms and wearing beautiful lipsticks was one of her signature ways of showing up as she navigated the tricky terrain of advancing in a male-dominated profession. She often characterizes her lipstick looks as her superpower ingredient that boosted her confidence though out her career journey of battling imposter syndrome.
Michelle DiGangi (Head of Small Business & Medium Enterprise, Bank of the West) - The Moderator
Michelle Di Gangi joined San Francisco based Bank of the West in 2008 as Executive Vice President, Head of Small and Medium Enterprise Banking. She manages small and medium-size business banking activities across Bank of the West’s 19 state footprint including Business Banking activities, SBA lending, SME Construction Lending, underwriting and loan operations, and strategy for distribution through the bank'’s retail banking network.
Di Gangi has over 25 years of experience in commercial, small business and business banking strategies, credit administration policies and procedures, and direct management of commercial and business banking.
What was Discussed at the Event
Aisha discussed critical steps in establishing a business, navigating funding as a small business, running a business, managing to keep calm in the storm of entrepreneurship.
The panel spoke about things to consider before taking the leap and how to get started, offered real-world suggestions on how to navigate the world of entrepreneurship as well as the challenges they overcame to achieve success and concluded by giving out one word to sum up the challenges they each faced as a female entrepreneur and how they hacked these challenges.
For every entrepreneur feeling stuck or like they made a wrong decision following their passion, this live recording is for you! It is packed with wisdom from these Bossy women. These women from different industries, and at different stages in their businesses shared their entire process and journey so far.