We are a sustainability consultancy co-founded by three women – Aisling, Jenn and Mica – on a mission to make businesses a force for good.
How did it all begin?
The first seeds of Cyd Connects were sown by Aisling when she did her Masters in Social Entrepreneurship. She knew then that sustainable businesses have an important role to play in pulling us back from the brink of climate disaster.
What sets your business apart?
There’s a lot of noise in the world of sustainability. We do sustainability without the BS. We don’t judge; we make the journey fun and inspirational.
What is the concept behind your business or the problem you’re solving?
Every business, no matter its size or sector, needs to meet clear sustainability targets now. Even for small businesses this will become mandatory very soon, and most don’t know where to start. We are here to take businesses through their sustainability journey, and make it joyful and profitable.
Where to next/What is your brand vision?
A big part of our work is helping companies get B Corp certified. The UK is now one of the fastest growing B Corp communities in the world. As trained B Leaders, we are seeing an explosion of businesses looking to achieve B Corp certification, which is exciting. We’re innovating like crazy in this space, especially for businesses founded by women.
What do you feel passionate about/what drives you?
We need more women stepping up, starting businesses and taking the lead. I’ve done a lot of work to battle my own imposter syndrome and I want to help other women do the same.
Share an example of early life that has shaped you?
Cyd is a family name, it’s my middle name that I shared with my Aunt. She pushed back against all the limitations society put in her way and ended up traveling the world, often barefoot. She had a strong influence on me. The name Cyd has come to represent all the courageous women who came before us.
Highlights of your business journey so far?
I love learning, but I’m dyslexic and it’s taken me a long time to overcome my insecurities around that. Going back to achieve my Masters was huge for me. Another career highlight was vanquishing my fear of public speaking by doing a TedX talk.
Key lessons you have learned along the way?
Progress is better than perfection. Stop putting it off, do it now, and you’ll learn as you go.
Best piece of advice you have received?
The late Professor Sucheta Nadkarni at Cambridge Judge University was full of great advice. She put me forward for the scholarship to the Rising Women Leaders Programme, where I learned so much. I used to be full of self-doubt, but Sucheta said when you face your fears and step up to the challenge, you’re not just doing it for yourself, you’re doing it for every other woman too. I recall her words whenever I need a dose of courage.
Advice to an aspiring entrepreneur or woman just starting her career?
Get a mentor! I’ve seen so much research that shows men have mentors and sponsors while women don’t ask for that guidance and support to help build their business. Most people are happy to help, so go ahead and ask for it.
What funding route have you chosen for your business and why?
We are self-funded but we’re growing at a ferocious rate, so investment may be on the cards.
Some of the challenges you have faced and how you overcame them?
Most of our challenges are around time, flexibility and the juggle all women in business face. One of the best things we did was move to a 4-day work week.
Why is it important to support women-led business?
We believe more women in leadership is key to solving the climate crisis and building a sustainable future. That’s why we lift and support women in any way we can, be that mentorships, education, partnerships, and especially collaborations.
My inspiration is...
a cold water swim always gets my imagination flowing.
My greatest fear is...
not making the most of this lifetime.
The most courageous thing I’ve ever done is...
battling my dyslexia and dropping all the baggage that came with that.
Mantra you live by?
the same thinking that created the problem won’t create the solutions (that’s why we need more diverse voices and more women with a seat at the table).
Female role model?
Mary Robinson, first female president of Ireland and the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights.
Women-led brand you love?
Sealore. A mother and daughter team who create handcrafted skincare on the coast of Western Ireland.
Top productivity tool?
morning mediations, and voice notes and Audible changed my life.
Cyd Connects has created a SPECIAL OFFER exclusively for Women's Chapter Members