The Franklins: Growing pains and pleasures

The Franklins: Session I (Growth)

Why Growth?

A defining characteristic of a startup (as opposed to a small business) is the focus on scalability, and inevitably, growth. The exact conditions and steps taken to achieve growth, however, are a common challenge shared by many startup founders. Once a startup has achieved product-market fit, what comes next?

For the first session in The Franklins, MAP’s Female Founders’ Leadership Series, we set out to address this topic with our founders – many of whom run established startups with international reach, but who may be considering how to sustain their growth in the long run, or how the decisions they make today, impact on the future of their business (and personal life) in years to come.

In the startup ecosystem, women in the middle can sometimes feel left out – but it as this point that they’re often in the midst of tremendous growth as leaders and as business owners. There is incredible support for businesses that are just starting out, and recognition flows steadily to a select number of female leaders in technology or media sectors, so we have made a conscious effort to acknowledge, support and share our learnings with the women doing the hard yards between ‘startup’ and ‘success’.

Post product-market fit, as a startup transforms into a business, culture changes, new processes are required, and hiring and firing challenges present themselves. This transition can be tough on the business, and especially taxing on the founders. By giving The Franklins some positive role modelling and a reference group of fellow female founders at similar stages in their businesses, we hope to make a small contribution to their journey. We felt it was critical to provide these women on the front line with some timely growth advice, and in turn, we hope that they will share their learnings within their own networks, as we share it here with you.

Our Mentor

For the first session in our Female Founders’ Leadership Series, we wanted to introduce The Franklins to an experienced founder who would share their advice for growing a sustainable business (and global empire), but who has also balanced aggressive growth with a consistent vision, a desire to create true impact, and a commitment to quality and leadership. Encouraging everyone to play to their individual strengths and stay focused on their own game, the delightful Amanda Coote shared her learnings with our lucky founders.

Amanda Coote, Entrepreneur & Angel Investor, Co-Founder, Forever New


Amanda is the co-founder of Australian fashion retailer Forever New. She led the company for the first seven years as Managing Director – from conception of vision and business plan in 2005, to start-up in January 2006, then through prolific growth into 8 countries with 2,500 employees and over 300 stores.

In 2013 Amanda established Forever New’s corporate responsibility programme and philanthropic foundation, supporting YGAP and Save the Children. In 2014 she established the Forever New Scholarship at RMIT University, awarding one scholarship in 2014 and two in 2015.

Amanda exited Forever New in August 2015 to complete her Masters degree and pursue her interests in social enterprise, start ups and angel investing. Together with the Wade Institute, Amanda established the first Impact Entrepreneurship Scholarship for candidates entering the Master of Entrepreneurship degree at The University of Melbourne. Amanda has been a MAP mentor since 2014 and is a leading advisor on MAP’s Impact Entrepreneurship initiatives.

Host Partner

MAP is proud to partner with Scale Investors to deliver The Franklins: Session I (Growth).

Scale banner.png

Scale helps investors and entrepreneurial women to connect, invest and succeed. Founded in March 2013, Scale is a female focused angel investor network. The founding members of Scale are women, but they welcome and include men who share their vision of maximising returns by supporting early stage businesses that value gender diverse leadership.

amanda-derham.pngRepresenting Scale Investors is Amanda Derham, Co-CEO (Interim). Amanda is an experienced director, business owner and investor of more than 30 years having worked in mining, dairy manufacturing and financial services who believes in the power of innovation. Amanda has a background in marketing and communications and is currently a director of Anglicare Victoria Inc. and a Life Member of the Museum of Victoria. Amanda’s previous directorships include VLine Pty Ltd, Burra Foods Australia Pty Ltd, Golf Victoria Inc, and the Scotch College Foundation.

From The Franklins

“I just wanted to say a big thank you for inviting me to the dinner. It was so lovely to hear from Amanda Coote and Amanda Derham and to be surrounded by so many like-minded female entrepreneurs!” – Valeria Ignatieva, DCC Jobs

“Amanda Coote said “to succeed you need to be a little bit scared and a hell of a lot excited about what you’re doing”. I’ve just put that on a post-it note on my wall” – Christie Downs, Handdii

“A HUGE thank you for tonight’s event – truly inspirational and it was so great to meet so many talented women, and also to hear insights from Amanda Coote and Amanda Derham!” – Anna Reeves, That Startup Show

Participation in The Franklins is by invitation only. If you would like to be considered, please contact Lisian Teh, Development Manager.


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