Small businesses make up 99% of the world’s business population, yet women-led start-ups received only 2.3% of Venture Capital funding in 2020, according to Harvard Business Review. This is particularly concerning in today’s business landscape, where much of the economy’s recovery rests upon small business’ own return to growth.

Cisco at Web Summit 2021: Powering a More Inclusive Future for All

At Cisco, our company purpose is to power an inclusive future for all. Ensuring equitable access to opportunities for all is in our DNA and so naturally, we want to be part of solving this problem.

This month, Cisco attended Web Summit, a global forum that brings people and companies together at the intersection of technology, people and culture. Attendees continue to search for ways to redefine business and the global technology industry whilst driving inclusion. Cisco contributed to this conversation with our focus on hybrid work and demonstrated that by bringing people together no matter where they are, we can bring more voices to the table and be more inclusive.

I was also thrilled to see the ever-growing number of female speakers at the event this year, and had the honour to be part of the incredible line-up. Cisco hosted a Masterclass Session where we heard female founders’ perspectives and gained insights into the hustle behind creating successful lifestyle brands. Attendees were treated to stories, insights and tips from Hannah Mitchell, CEO and Founder of mywimble.com and Hayze Bridal, and Bianca Bridges, CEO and Founder of Breakfast London and Sweathouse.

Hannah Mitchell, CEO and Founder of mywimble.com and Hayze Bridal

Hannah and Bianca shared how they’ve leveraged technology, combined with their grit and entrepreneurial spirit, to get to where they are today. Attendees loved the opportunity to connect with like-minded founders, were inspired to take new and bold steps with their business, and met accountability partners to include as part of their personal network to keep them on track with commitments. I’m excited to see how our impact and commitments we made together will continue as attendees connect again with their new accountability partners on November 19th for Women’s Entrepreneurship Day.

You can learn more about Cisco’s presence at Web Summit here.

Bianca Bridges, CEO and Founder of Breakfast London and Sweathouse

Cisco’s Small Business Commitment

Cisco is the big company that loves small businesses. Our mission is to give every founder and small business the support and tools they need to thrive – in a way that’s affordable, accessible and effortless for all. One element of this is our Cisco Small Business portfolio, a portfolio curated specifically for small businesses around the globe. Beyond our transformative technology is our ongoing commitment to get proximate to small businesses and learn all we can about the ever-evolving small business landscape as well as empathising with the people behind the brands that are changing the world one step at a time.

Our lives and livelihoods have changed beyond recognition over the past few years. I never cease to be amazed by the resilience and resourcefulness displayed by small businesses to keep our economy, communities and our world moving. Together, we can chart a course beyond recovery and into growth, while ensuring we power a more inclusive future for all.

Learn more about Cisco Small Business


Sarah Eccleston

Vice President, Small Business Segment

Growth Marketing