Hampstead entrepreneur sets up new website ‘to help women understand cars’
16:00 09 March 2014
A young entrepreneur has launched a new business venture helping women drivers understand how their cars work – to stop them “having to turn to men for advice”.
Charlotte Leuw, 24, founder of MyCarGossip.com, created her new business after being “conned” by a male mechanic who she said took advantage of her poor motoring knowledge and charged for work her car did not need.
The Hampstead Garden Suburb resident, who trained as a teacher before working for popular daily bargains website Groupon, decided enough was enough and started her own site to help women understand their cars.
It contains a number of how-to guides, from changing a wheel to checking the oil. It has a database of garages across the country which allow women to find trustworthy mechanics.
“My aim really is to help young girls learn the basics about their cars,” said Ms Leuw, who lives in Holme Chase. “It started as just a blog but soon got a lot of interest as there was nothing really out there like it.
“Whether it’s about hair products or clothes, women like to talk, but there was nowhere for them to talk about their cars.
“Every woman I had spoken to had either had a good or bad experience they wanted to chat about. So the website aims to give women a more powerful voice in what is a very male-dominated world.”
Having committed to the project full-time in August last year, Ms Leuw is now searching for investors via crowdfunding website Seedrs.com, where members of the public can buy shares in her company.
She has so far received almost £10,000 of the £30,000 she needs for marketing and sales costs.
With 2,000 people visiting the site per month, motorist experts and professionals from the industry are also flocking to write guest posts.
“The website has real promise,” insists Ms Leuw, a former pupil of St Margaret’s School, Hampstead. “The database of mechanics started out with just local garages around Hampstead and Golders Green, but it has now become a national database with over 600 reviews.
“I’m now seeing young men come to the site as well – many of whom also have no idea about cars. It’s well-known women are safer drivers, so there’s definitely a market to teach some of the dangerous male drivers out there about their motors.”
A number of prominent businesswomen have been helping Ms Leuw as she expands her venture.
These include Maila Reeves, former editor of The Next Women magazine and Vanessa Vallely, founder of leading women’s business network WeAreTheCity.com.
n If you would like to invest in MyCarGossip.com, visitseedrs.com/startups/mycargossip-com.