by Lyndsey Burton
Originally published: March 22, 2017
When I founded my business at 19, I knew a little HTML but could hardly call myself a coder. Over the course of the last 14 years in business, I’ve taught myself web development and IT management–because I had to. Learning to code was the only way for me to grow a business from scratch and beat the long odds as a female tech founder. Here’s how I did it.
When I first started my company, I hadn’t gone to university and I didn’t have a job. I was living at home with my parents, so while I had no real risk or expenses, I also didn’t have any business acumen or money to invest.
I’m pretty sure he never thought it would work, but as my dad had always wanted to start a business himself, he offered me £500 (around $600 USD at the time) to try it myself. That was actually a pretty good budget for launching a website back then, especially considering that nowadays it costs anywhere between £2,500 and £6,500 ($3,000–$8,000) to hire a developer to produce a small app and up to as much as £200,000 ($250,000) for more complex web products. Needless to say, not many would-be entrepreneurs have the kind of capital to pay for such services. And if they can’t code, they face a massive barrier to becoming a startup founder from the get-go.