Celebrating International Women’s Day: Meet The B-School Female Founders

Angeline Ribadeau Dumas and Lucie Gueyffier, who studied at emlyon business school, created RUE DU COLIBRI


Angeline Ribadeau Dumas and Lucie Gueyffier, emlyon business school, RUE DU COLIBRI

Hometowns: Angeline is based in Lyon, France, and Lucie is based in Paris.
Business Degrees: Both studied the Executive MBA at emlyon business school from 2017-2019
Why did you choose to study your course at emlyon business school?
We both had a BAC + 5 diploma. Both, we wanted to update our knowledge and learn more in certain fields. Lucie, it was more in marketing and strategy and myself in finance and strategy.

Tell us more about your company/organization and what you do:
We are the co-founders of RUE DU COLIBRI.

Each of us has more than 20 years of experience in small and big companies. We are a well-balanced duo of women cofounders with highly complementary personalities and ranges of expertise: marketing & communication for myself, finance & management for Lucie. 

We met in 2017, pursuing an Executive MBA at emlyon. We shared the same values and the same wish to create from scratch a sustainable and successful company part of the social and solidarity economy.

In 2018, I (Angeline) discovered that I had breast cancer. I went through cancer treatments for 15 months. After the first chemotherapy session, I wrote down what I was missing and began to imagine a range of products that could help people maintain their intimacy, bring them comfort in their daily life, and reinforce their strength during cancer treatments. I then sent the project to Lucie who immediately said “yes”.

We achieved awareness by organizing focus groups with cancer patients and asking them open questions. We got similar arguments “lack of intimacy”, “loss of confidence”, “not wanting to look ill”, “looking nice even if I am sick”. Going forward, we used different communication channels to grow awareness: social networks, medias (press, TV, radio), mailing, phone calls, vision conferences, visits, printed materials.

Was it always your goal to found a company?:
For both of us, it was in our minds for a long time. Having worked for start-ups and having launched new concepts and new brands, we wanted to do that for our ideas. Angeline conceptualised four projects but never launched them. Doing the MBA helped us to launch the company. We were in the mood of doing it. It was the good timing.

What advice would you have for other entrepreneurial women that want to found a company?:
Be mentally prepared for an emotional roller-coaster (you will still experience them but with the awareness that it will get better!)

Trust your intuition when taking decisions. Ask for and accept all feedback, especially negative. Take the time to think about suggestions and challenge yourself and only keep the ideas you feel are right. Celebrate each positive step and always look at what has been done instead of focusing on what is missing

Measure each of your actions, find good partners, and don’t be driven by emotions. 

Being an entrepreneur is a fantastic adventure. You will meet great people! You will learn a lot and you will grow!

How did your experience at business school help you with your venture?:
Doing an Entrepreneurship specialization helped us to study the project. It was very interesting to share our ideas, our vision, present the project, and be exposed to other points of view. It helped us to structure our Business Plan.

What are your hopes for the future of women in business?:
We hope it will be easier for women to raise funds than it is today. We hope women will have the same consideration as men. We hope that one-day social projects will have the same audience as technical subjects.

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