Flóra Raffai

Flóra Raffai tells us that, “I am a small organisation’s coach, mentor, and trainer. Since 2015, I have been a CEO and trustee of small organisations in the health, educational, and community development sectors.  I hold a Diploma in Transformational Coaching from Catalyst 14 and a Masters in Social Innovation from the University of Cambridge Judge Business School. I am also a member of the European Mentoring and Coaching Council.  I strongly believe that coaching is transformational for individuals at all levels and improves the success of an organisation. I specialise in supporting small organisations, where the impact is most significant.”

What were your initial years of growing up like? Tell us about your life before starting your corporate journey/venture/initiative.

My life growing up was one of continual change. My family and I moved every two to three years, usually across countries and between continents. As a result, I was constantly learning about new cultures and community norms, and adapting to the new environments I found myself in. Through these experiences, I developed an ability to quickly forge connections and focused my desired career path on working closely with a diverse group of people. My family also instilled in me the value of community and contributing to the betterment of society. Volunteering was something that my father strongly encouraged, and we often did volunteer projects together like cleaning up local areas, painting schools, volunteering at a community centre. This inspired me to work in the charity and non-profit sector, and I have spent the past 10 years working with health, education, and community development organisations.

Every industry that is now a large-scale, top-notch business once started as a small idea in the minds of entrepreneurs. What was that idea or motivation that made you start your business /initiative? What motivated you within to say YES, go for it!”

My motivation to become a coach was rooted in my passion to help people live their best possible lives. I have had the privilege of being coached by several fantastic coaches, and I wanted to share the transformative nature of coaching with others like me. I noticed that most coaches work predominantly with large companies, and so do not necessarily have an appreciation of the unique dynamics and challenges faced by small organisations, especially those in the charity and non-profit sector. Given my background in the space, as a coach I could enable small organisation leaders and their teams to unlock their potential and achieve their ambitions.

Would you like to share with our young budding women entrepreneurs the change you would like to see in the world if given an opportunity?

The change I would like to see in the world is a shift in how we define value. We have incorrectly equated value to the monetary appraisal, so our organisations aim to maximise value by maximising profit. I believe value should be defined by the impact on our teams, our communities, and our environment. We should maximise value by maximising positive impact.  The way I have approached this in the organisations I have led, is by starting our strategy by defining our vision for the world and the change we want to achieve. From there, we have built our strategic aims, objectives, and resource plans to contribute to the vision. Our financial plan is therefore the means rather than the end. I would encourage all our budding entrepreneurs to start with their definition of value and their vision to create it. We will create so much more positive change and impact if it is our primary motivator.

What’s the most important thing you have learned in your personal life and professional journey? What is your personal motto in life?

The most important thing I have learned is to have a growth mindset. This gives me permission to learn, experiment, and develop as an individual. I have found this has removed much of the fear of mistakes or failure, as these have become opportunities to deepen my understanding and identify ways to improve for the future. I have built in regular reflections into my practice so I can check in on what has gone well, what could have gone better, and what are the key lessons learned for the future. I do not have a personal motto as such, but my guiding principles have definitely been embracing lifelong learning and continuous improvement.

With your grit and determination, you are making a considerable impact, breaking through, and serving as role models for many budding entrepreneurs. What would you want to say to our young women leaders/audience reading this?

I encourage our budding entrepreneurs to be open to the opportunities around you. It is good to have a goal to serve as a North Star; a direction to set off towards and guide for your work. Stay open to the possibilities and the many different routes there are to achieving your goal. Resilience and determination are key. If one path is blocked, there will be others and there will be lessons to learn along the way.