Tech entrepreneur Laura Pomfret openly admits she had a problem with managing her own finances.
Along with her younger sister Holly Holland, she’s one half of Financielle, the first finance app built by women, for women.
The app offers women step-by-step financial guidance to empower them to take control of their own financial journey.
Laura is speaking at the latest Robert Walters business breakfast – Deal or No Deal? – on Friday December 3rd about the experiences.
The North West-based sisters want their app to be used by over one million people in the next year and Laura speaks from experience when it comes to struggling to keep on top of her finances.
“Every single month I would use my overdraft,” she recalls to TechBlast. “I was the queen of the monthly payment. Like many people, I was always only one month away from the proverbial house of cards collapsing down around me. One day I had had enough – and I decided to do something about it.
“The problem is people are overwhelmed by the amount of financial content that’s out there. Financial products are invariably built for men, by men. Women want to hear from women when it comes to money.
“Women are in control of 85% of the world’s spending, aggressively targeted to part with their money, with no one showing them how to actively manage their money.”
Laura, who in a previous life was a lawyer at Addleshaw Goddard, launched Financielle three years ago as an online Instagram community.
The content tackled everything from the gender pay gap, the financial impact of maternity leave, setting investment goals and sticking to a budget.
“The key was keeping it simple,” she says. “The financial world is so jargon-heavy and driven so heavily by credit, we like to give alternative views and lift the lid on how financial products work.
“Before long I realised that thousands of people were interested in what we had to say; we had more than 10,000 followers and by the time the pandemic hit, we were inundated with direct messages.”
Laura discussed Financielle with her sister Holly, who has previously worked for Manchester United and Travel Counsellors.
“As sisters we’ve had every argument it’s possible to have,” jokes Laura. “But she understood the vision of helping millions of people to be financially well, especially women who are behind in every area of finance.
“She told me to put my thoughts down on paper, summarising the Financielle Instagram method.”
The result was the Financielle Playbook – the ‘Couch to 5K of money’ – which people could download for £50.
“It’s a step-by-step guide to being financially well and in the first day 100 people downloaded so we realised we were on to something,” says Laura.
After being downloaded more than 500 times the sisters turned the content into a free app, although people can pay a subscription to access all the content.
Holly said: “We’ve completely bootstrapped it and have agreed partnerships with likes of PensionBee and Wealthify. We’ve been inundated with testimonials from people who have taken control of their finances on the back of using the app.”
As Financielle took off, the sisters handed in their resignations in the travel industry earlier this year to focus on growing the business.
They recently finished as runners-up in The Pitch UK, grabbing the attention of investors – with whom they are in seed round discussions – with a plan to propel their business globally.
Laura said: “We’re real women and authentic. I think that’s why we’ve grown our community to nearly 40,000 men and women already.”
- Laura Pomfret will be speaking at a special event this Friday on Manchester called ‘Deal or No Deal’.
- She’ll be joined by Jonathan Boyers, head of corporate finance in the UK for KPMG, and five other speakers for the next Robert Walters business breakfast, which will be looking at the process before, during and after doing the deal.
- The other speakers are Kevin Jones, founder and CEO of Shopblocks; entrepreneur and author Mark Mills; Piers Dryden, partner and head of technology at Brabners; Elizabeth Gooch MBE, founder and of TechGrowth Factory; and John Whelan, CEO of My Digital. To register head here.