March / April 2021

Women in Pharma® & Entrepreneurship

Tanya Sharma
Women in Pharma® Tanya Sharma Banner

The ISPE Women in Pharma® (WIP) theme for the month of March is entrepreneurship. This word can mean different things to different people, but WIP defines it as the creation of value. Communications, events, and activities during March will focus on supporting small businesses and encouraging leaders around the world to have the confidence, capacity, and willingness to develop and manage a business venture despite the risks that may arise with growth and profitability.

Women in Pharma® events in March will show support for small businesses through interactive networking sessions that focus on women entrepreneurs. The events will include book clubs, mentor circles, and webinars and will feature industry leaders and entrepreneurs sharing their insights and stories of their experiences, accomplishments, challenges, and successes. Also, life sciences companies will share how they support start-ups and small businesses in the pharmaceutical industry. The Bridge, ISPE’s Women in Pharma® newsletter, is highlighting entrepreneurial women and men who are active in ISPE and Women in Pharma® who will share lessons learned when starting their businesses.

No road that we take is easy. We must overcome fears, be bold, and be courageous.

A Personal Perspective

As a small business owner, I can share some initial thoughts about starting a business. No road that we take is easy. We must overcome fears, be bold, and be courageous. It is okay to make mistakes; these provide opportunities to learn and grow. It is okay to go slowly; premature moves can present unnecessary challenges.

Do not compare your success and scalability to other small businesses. Maintain accountability and make your colleagues accountability partners. Share your vision for your business with your communities, and recognize and give thanks to all those who support and help promote your company.

Speak often and speak up! Rather than having conversations only with your staff, it is important to reach out to obtain feedback and learn lessons from others in the industry. You do not have to have a plan for everything; sometimes, opportunities will present themselves, and you must be flexible and ready to try these new chances that arise. An idea you have may not work, but that does not mean that all ideas will fail. Keep trying and be creative. There is nothing too small or too large for a business that is starting out—all it takes is confidence and the belief that things happen to those who try.

Ginny Rometty, former CEO of IBM, said, “I learned to always take on things I’d never done before. Growth and comfort do not co-exist.” For us to reach our destination, we must keep our momentum focused and not allow challenges to affect our passion and determination. We must consult with experts for thoughtful advice and acknowledge there is more than one way to accomplish goals.

Respect the opinions and suggestions of others: these can make major differences in your plans and priorities. While you may disagree, it is important to find creative ways to work with others and be open to their innovative ideas. Recognize that starting a business requires substantial time, effort, and energy, but if you are passionate about what you are trying to build, it won’t feel like work. It will be fun, exciting, and highly rewarding.

Reach out to me Tanya Sharma if you have questions about Women in Pharma®, starting a small business, or supporting entrepreneurs just starting their journey. And if you are beginning to create your own business, good luck!

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