Shaper: Michelle Kennedy

Michelle Kennedy

Michelle Kennedy is the co-founder of Peanut, an app for making new mum friends. Prior to launching Peanut, Michelle was a Director at dating app Bumble and had also been Head of Legal, General Counsel and later Director at app Badoo. Michelle graduated from the University of Sheffield with a Law LLB; she became a Corporate Solicitor at Mishcon de Reya in 2007. In 2013, Michelle welcomed her son Finlay. She has modelled for clothing brand Boden as part of the “Wear it Like Mum” campaign to encourage mothers to feel confident about their self-image. Her app Peanut aims to break the stigma around motherhood and help women make meaningful connections based on common values and interests.

Follow Michelle on Twitter @shellkennedylon.

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“Starting peanut was genuinely a labour of love”

“I acquired different functions in the Badoo business when working alongside the founder. It was through that experience, seeing the exciting development and growth, having desire to do it in an area where I felt there was another need, that was the backbone and route to Peanut.”

“There was nothing that was fit for purpose and spoke to mothers. All I could think about was an entire generation of women who were growing up mobile first, having an expectation of a product and it didn’t exist, so I decided I would make it.”

“As a lawyer you are trained to find risk and avoid it and as an entrepreneur you see the risk and do it anyway.”

“My mum is a strong Irish woman from a very big family who pushed me to do all the things she felt she couldn’t do. I suppose that gave me drive and ambition and I don’t like being told that I can’t do something, it bothers me.”

“I didn’t sleep, I didn’t eat, I cared, I still care, but it was such a personal mission for me. I really wanted to make something impactful.”

“Women are 50% of the population, so of course we have to have better representation of women in venture funds.”

“Be persistent. Don’t accept no. I carried on, I got better, I improved and I met some incredible people. I purposefully spoke to women investors, I went to a female fund who backed female-led businesses and I worked with female partners.”

“The first thing I was taught is hire people who are smarter than you. Everyone in my team is much smarter than me. And I am eternally grateful for it.”

“When I was pregnant I used to call my little bump Peanut. Everyone in my office refers to Finn as Peanut. He will always be the Peanut.”

“The most important thing to me is that you know feminism means equality, it doesn’t mean woman or men, it means equality and that means that for gender parity to ever be a reality, we have to celebrate brilliant people.”