Advice for Entrepreneurs Learned from Contestants on Girl Starter #StaplesLovesGirlStarter

Disclosure: Sponsored partnership with Staples. All opinions are 100% my own.

Being an entrepreneur isn’t an easy route to take.

You are your own boss.

You call all the shots.

You stay up late and wake up early.

You eat, sleep and think about your business 24/7.

You are the one who everyone is relying on.

You are, truly, everything.

And if you’re anything like me… none of this bothers you. Quite the opposite – it fuels you to get out there and go for it! You truly need to be a certain kind of person to be an entrepreneur and it’s exciting to see the energy and passion and zest for business that entrepreneurs bring to the world.

One thing that has always inspired me is the drive and passion of other female entrepreneurs, because it’s very motivating to see, listen and watch other females rocking it in the world of business. We all have our different business ideas, but at the end of the day we’re female entrepreneurs, taking chances and risks, and it’s important for us all to be on the same team, trying to help each other succeed. It’s extremely empowering to see females taking the lead in the entrepreneurial space, especially at younger ages.

With that being said, it’s no wonder that I have absolutely fallen in love with the TLC show, Girl Starter, which just recently wrapped up its first season. It’s such an inspiring show for women of all ages (specifically young women) who have a dream, a wish, and a calling to be entrepreneurs. Girl Starter began as a company committed to providing platforms to help amplify girls who are on their way to becoming entrepreneurs and business leaders. As a mom of a little girl myself, Girl Starter always spoke to me as an empowering resource for all girls out there. When I heard Girl Starter launched a reality-competition TV show, I thought it was genius!

If you haven’t had a chance to see Girl Starter yet, it documents eight girls, ages 18 to 24, as they compete for seed-round funding. The series follows 6 steps of early-phase business building, from ideation through pitch, and features entertaining challenges, guest stars, and (the big one!) a grand prize of $100,000 in funding and services. provided actionable content to help propel girls and young women to build their own businesses alongside the show, as well.

I mean, just a win-win.

I’m thrilled to share that I had the AWESOME opportunity to head to the final taping of Girl Starter with Staples in NYC and get an incredible behind-the-scenes perspective. It was fascinating to see the final 2 teams – Team Tolli and Team Cookies – present their pitches to the judges. I was really impressed by 5 things with each of the teams when it came to their pitching styles:

  1. Research – It was obvious that each team had put in the research for their pitches. They really covered their bases and impressed me with their knowledge of: who, what, where, how and when.
  2. Target – They knew exactly who their target audience was in their pitch and really played up why their business would be a smash hit.
  3. Open to Possibilities – When the judges asked questions and added in commentary, they were open to the possibilities of expanding their thoughts and range. This isn’t always easy to take in, especially on the spot. These teams impressed me with their open thinking and ability to adapt.
  4. Quick Thinkers – Going along with what I just said above, these girls all impressed me with their quick thinking, which showed just how committed they were to their business ideas. They had to answer questions on the spot, and I was beyond impressed with their knowledge and thought processes.
  5. Public Speaking – This is NOT an easy piece of a pitch to master and these girls impressed me fully. I went to school for Public Speaking, so I know it’s not easy! They all exemplified amazing public speaking skills during their pitches, which really make them extra professional to me.

Now… I don’t want to spoil this for anyone out there who didn’t get a chance to see the finale, but Team Tolli WON!! I was very happy for them because they had such an incredible idea for an app that could really help artists and create job opportunities and extra income for artists. I love that they were creating something to HELP people; I thought that piece of it was very commendable.

What really made Girl Starter extra meaningful was seeing that Staples was the presenting sponsor of the series. Staples single-handedly helps entrepreneurs (like me) run businesses seamlessly and effortlessly. From products needed to printing capabilities to technology offered, they’ve got everything to help small businesses and entrepreneurs run their businesses. They are (pun intended) a staple for my business. I loved seeing Staples sponsor this series because it’s so important to encourage and honor young female entrepreneurs. It’s refreshing to see a company salute and motivate entrepreneurs to take that leap of faith into their dreams. An added bonus for me was meeting the CEO of Staples – an exceptional female, Shira D. Goodman – who served as a judge on the show and also helped announce the winner. It was wonderful seeing Shira chat with each of the contestants and give them advice and tips, encouraging them to keep going with their entrepreneurial journey. She was the perfect role model to have there for these girls and she definitely motivated me to keep on going, too, with my dreams!

Girl Starter was just extraordinary and I’m so proud to have been aligned with this partnership with Staples because it’s everything I’m passionate about for females everywhere!

I’ve got some exciting news for you, too!!

Girl Starter is currently in the midst of a college tour, bringing their message to the masses and auditioning for Season 2! If you think you have what it takes, come on out and meet them! All the information is here. (link provided) Go after your dreams… you never know what will happen! We all have to start somewhere, let this be your start! Go get it, GIRL!


About Audrey

Audrey McClelland has been a digital influencer since 2005. She’s a mom of 5 and shares tips on her three favorite things: parenting, fashion and beauty. She’s also a Contemporary Romance Author.

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