International Women's Day - Paolita

Even in 2023, female founders continue to face challenges in accessing opportunities and funding. For instance, across Europe as a whole, female founders have secured just 1.3 per cent of all venture capital funding available since 2017.

Outfund provides non-dilutive funding to founders across the globe, and our data-driven approach removes the bias from traditional decision-making. Since 2020, we’ve strived to democratise access to funding and, to date, we’ve provided over £10m to women-led businesses.

To celebrate International Women’s Day, we’re sharing the stories of some of our female founders to help inspire the next wave of great businesses.

Paolita is a London-based swim and resort wear brand, who Outfund have supported since 2020. We’re thrilled to introduce the founder and creative director, Anna Paola, to share her story…

I started Paolita in 2010, inspired by an insatiable desire to travel and the absolute necessity to look effortlessly chic while doing so. We’re a British luxury brand based in London, specialising in resort and swimwear, while also boasting an Autumn/Winter range for a year-round wardrobe. As founder, Designer, and Creative Director, I take inspiration from the multicultural buzz of London, as well as my mixed heritage, from my upbringing in Greece to my maternal roots in Mexico.

We’ve faced all the challenges building a business brings, but the fashion sector, where trends continue to evolve, is especially demanding. Building a brand that is timeless, with a real focus on quality and design, has been key to our ability to be successful. We tell stories with our prints that evolve every year - a lot of research goes into what we do and we think our customer appreciates the uniqueness of the products which we produce.

To-date, PAOLITA has not brought in any external investment to grow the business. We’ve leveraged Outfund to help manage our cash-flow through fashion’s seasonal peaks and troughs. We may consider some future equity investment, but only where it provides expertise or strategic support to continue to expand the business, while retaining the character of the brand.

Looking to the future, we have launched our Autumn/Winter ‘ready to wear’ collection recently. We are excited to see how it evolves, and to produce a product for our customers that can be worn throughout the year. We will also be looking to open a 2nd UK store soon, as well as exploring our 1st US store.

Ultimately, I have to say that I feel lucky to be able to be fulfilled by my work, surrounded by amazing friends and a wonderful family.