“Powering Anything She Wants to Be”
Her Energy is the brain-child of entrepreneur and self-starter, Kelly Johnson who founded this unique electricity retailer with a purpose. Her Energy is different from the rest, in that it gives back to women’s initiatives every time its clients pay their power bills. We recently had the opportunity to talk to Kelly to ask her some questions about her empowering initiative.
Tell us about the business that you started?
The idea behind Her Energy was to take something that was a necessity and use that as an opportunity to give back! We want to make supporting women an easy choice (not that it isn’t already!) by providing an avenue for people to give back at no extra cost or effort to themselves, while also trying to provide people with affordable power and simple billing.
What is the inspiration behind Her Energy? What is your ‘Y’?
Coming out of university, I knew that I wanted to work in social enterprise. Business with a purpose, and with giving back built into its foundation, seemed like the best of both worlds! Personally, I wanted to establish Her Energy as it’s a cause that is close to me. I’m a young woman getting started in the social enterprise sector, so the idea of being able to support other women was amazing. Also, the idea of being able to provide women’s charities with funding on a regular basis, and eventually being able to provide regular and large enough support to hopefully make a real difference is a huge motivator for me.
The more I am involved in the electricity industry, the more I am convinced to continue what I do. As I am getting started, I’m really struggling to find examples of female leadership in the electricity sector that I can learn from. As far as I am aware, there are currently no other female CEOs amongst the main electricity retailers in New Zealand. Come on, it’s 2020! This needs to change. In creating Her Energy, I want to provide opportunities for other women to upskill and increase women’s representation within the leadership of electricity retailers, as we continue to grow.
What makes Her Energy different to other companies that offer the same service?
Other than the obvious focus on women supporting women, there also aren’t many retailers out there with giving at the centre of what they do! We are doing everything that we can to give back as much as possible to our initiatives. The redistribution of our profits is done using a specific rate, it’s not done on a percentage basis. This means that the donations do not fluctuate or get smaller if our profits get smaller, like they would if it was on a percentage basis. It also ensures that charities will always get their donations, regardless of Her Energy’s financial situation.
I have joked with people before about how electricity retail at the moment is not something people enjoy. In fact, when sales reps come to people’s doors, we often pretend we’re not in! While I don’t think paying bills will ever be an ‘enjoyable’ experience, I do want to try and give it a purpose and make it something that people feel good about doing.
Are there any obstacles or challenges you have faced thus far in your entrepreneurial journey, and how have you met or faced these obstacles?
I started Her Energy with no business background. Although I love a bit of a challenge, it’s definitely been a time in which I have had to learn a lot pretty quickly! Starting a business can be very nerve wracking, and I have had to push myself through some fairly uncomfortable situations and do things that don’t necessarily come naturally to me. I always tend to overthink things and want to try and make things perfect before I get started but the thing that I have learnt with business is that you have to let yourself make mistakes in order to learn.
Imposter syndrome can lead to a bit of an endless cycle as well; you might feel that you don’t have the experience to be doing what you’re doing, but you’re not going to get that experience unless you go out and do it! If you stay true to yourself (as cheesy as it is) and remain honest and tied to your ‘why’, you’ll be able to effectively communicate what it is you’re trying to do and get the job done, regardless of whether it’s ‘perfect’ or not. It’s the impact of what you’re doing that truly matters!
What recommendations or tips would you give to other young women who are thinking of taking their own entrepreneurial steps?
I think one of the key things I would say is that you don’t need a specific set of skills or specific experience to get going. If you have an idea, get started. Send that email, even if you are nervous about it! Reach out to people, even if it feels a little awkward! The more you get the ball rolling, the easier it will become. If you’re willing to learn and adapt as you go, you’ll honestly be able to do anything you set your mind to. Don’t listen to anyone who says you’re not experienced enough. Like I said earlier, the only way to get experience is to go out and do! So get doing!
If you’re willing to learn and adapt as you go, you’ll honestly be able to do anything you set your mind to
Links to the Her Energy website and Facebook page can be found below:
Facebook page: www.facebook.com/HerEnergynz