Kim Horton is the Co-Founder of Equus, an equestrian products ecommerce business offering a broad range of clothing and specialist products for riders.
Foresight invested into the business in 2018 via the Midlands Engine Investment Fund.
As part of our campaign to shine a light on the female founders Foresight has invested in, we interviewed Kim to find out more about her experiences as a female entrepreneur.
If you would like to learn more about Equus, you can visit their website here: https://www.equus.co.uk
What did you do before starting your company?
I worked at John Lewis for almost 25 years in a variety of roles which included running departments, opening new branches, training as a computer programmer and implementing a new buying & merchandising system. I left to pursue a career as an independent business consultant.
What led you to found Equus?
It was really a combination of my passion for retail and riding that led me to start my own business. It was clear from personal experience as a customer in the equestrian market that there was a real opportunity to bring some of the retail practices that I had learnt at John Lewis to fellow riders.
What has been the highlight of your career?
Without a doubt, taking my start-up from being just a seed of an idea to becoming the fastest growing retailer in its sector is one of the highlights.
What is the most challenging thing about being a female founder?
Personally, I don’t see being a female founder as any more challenging than it would be if I were a male founder. Every day I’m faced with all manner of challenges - which I relish!
What advice would you give to another aspiring female entrepreneur?
Always trust your instinct and go for it!
What is a defining moment of your career that brought you to where you are now?
I think defining moments are rare. We are all a product of our experiences, good and bad, and it is those things which define who we are and what we become.
What do you wish you had known before starting out?
Firstly, things generally take longer than you think. And secondly, there is no single silver bullet that guarantees success. These may seem obvious; at the end of the day there is no substitute for good old-fashioned hard work.
How do you think investment firms can contribute to closing the gap in VC funding for female and male entrepreneurs?
If there are fewer female entrepreneurs applying, then new initiatives are required to encourage women to apply for VC funding. We should also seek to understand the reason for this. However, if there are the same number of female and male entrepreneurs applying, then perhaps we should look at the reasons for any disparity.
You can see the PDF here.