Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Payton McGriff, Founder of Style Her Empowered (S H E), located in Boise, ID, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

S H E is a non-profit creating sustainable education and employment opportunities for girls and women around the world. Currently, our programs serve 1,500 girls annually in rural Togo, Africa, and employ 30 local women from low-income and low-education backgrounds.

Tell us about yourself

I started S H E while I was finishing my undergraduate degree at the University of Idaho. I read a book about girls' education around the world and learned that required school uniforms represent one of the largest financial barriers to school for girls around the world.

A professor at my university invited me to his hometown in Togo, Africa to research girls' education, and soon after, he partnered with me to launch S H E. Every day, I'm inspired by the incredible girls and women we serve who have all the talent in the world but have been unfairly denied the opportunity to flourish.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I'd say that my biggest accomplishment as a business owner has been building an incredibly uplifting team across two continents, four cities, and three languages. At S H E, we have intentionally built a dynamic team of women from diverse backgrounds, and we've been able to build a culture of trust, encouragement, and vulnerability with all of our cultural differences celebrated and appreciated.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

When your idea becomes a business, especially in social enterprises, it can be challenging to carry the weight of the many people who sacrifice a tremendous amount to become part of your vision. I never forget how many people have given so much of themselves to build S H E alongside me, and I am aware that these people rely on SHE for their livelihoods.

Of course, we're all navigating all of the uncertainty of the future together, but I feel a constant duty to succeed for the people and communities who depend on our organization and our services. And that can be pretty tough.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Find your mentors and learn from people you admire.
  2. Don't be afraid to not have the answer. As a young founder, I felt I needed to have all of the answers in order to be taken seriously. I've since learned that I've grown the most in times when I've asked others in the room to help me learn.
  3. Build a team of people who see your potential and give you grace. And do the same for them.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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