Katerina Haring – a female entrepreneur stand(ing) strong in an all-male field
Katerina Haring never thought of becoming an entrepreneur, but a certain set of circumstances led her to follow the entrepreneurial path. In 2006, she founded Dynamic Group, a company which designs and builds exhibition stands around the world for a wide range of clients. With hard work and a relentless positivity, she has managed to stand out from other competitors in the field and has made Dynamic Group a brand name.
Finding her path
After Katerina finished her studies, she started working at the Czech Embassy in Moscow, Russia, where she met many entrepreneurs and heard stories of successes and failures, which made her decide not to follow in their path initially. “I always admired people who started their own company and successfully managed it. No matter how ‘big’ or how much their yearly turnover was.”
At her previous job, she designed and produced exhibition stands. A turning point for her came when the company filed for bankruptcy. Following this, she received a number of calls from previous clients and this pushed her to build a new client base and start her own venture.
“Some of my good friends who are entrepreneurs tried to persuade me that I could do better,” said Katerina. So, she bit the bullet and started what is now Dynamic Group.
Tackling challenges while preparing for the future
Some 13 years later, the company has established offices in the Czech Republic and Russia and works with 6 freelance designers and over 80 people to manufacture, move and build stands around the world.
“I have never dreamt of building a big company. I just wanted to do my best and have clients that were satisfied with the work done.”
Katerina says that entrepreneurship is a lot harder than she initially expected, the amount of work and effort needed far exceeded her imagination: “I worked every day and on weekends for 16 hours, along the way I learned a lot.”
But to this day she still sits and thinks about what can be changed: “I’m always thinking of how to improve [Dynamic Group] and what could be done better in the future.”
Katerina says that it is not in her nature to be conflictual and therefore tries her best to find a solution before a conflict happens. But working in an all-male field has brought some advantages.
The importance of role models
When asked about what could be done to empower and encourage women to start their own businesses, Katerina cites positive examples as a solution: “Ladies are capable of doing anything they want, they just need some encouragement”.
What advice would Katerina give to aspiring entrepreneurs? “Don’t hesitate, you can do what you want, work hard and stay positive,” she said.
Representing female entrepreneurs around the world
As the General Secretary of FCEM (Femmes Chefs d’Entreprises Mondiales/World Association of Women Entrepreneurs), Katerina often communicates with members and non-members to promote female entrepreneurship and encourage women to become entrepreneurs.
“I am always touched and fascinated by the force and good energy of our global FCEM meetings and how easy it is to find new contacts, contracts and friends,” said Katerina.
The association, which was founded after WWII, organises meetings and conferences twice a year where members can share expertise and advice. It also facilitates contracts and partnerships with people from all over the world and is currently represented in 100 countries.