To overcome systemic social and financial challenges while starting a business, women must approach entrepreneurship differently.
Devishobha Chandramouli recently came to me with a clear cut problem in business: Women face systemic social and financial challenges while starting a business. Rather than just complain about it, she took the time to compile a list of 25 enterprises that are determined to help women succeed by focusing on the unique challenges they face. In her own words:
We hear it over and over again. We hear it in the form of the "lean-in" message or in the form of companies instituting parent-friendly policies to encourage women employees. We hear it when economists agree"economic empowerment of women across the rich world is one of the most remarkable revolutions of the past 50 years". We hear it when we see statistics flashing that women contribute $3 trillion to the economy.
We hear that women are the rising tribe of entrepreneurs. That they own 36% of all businesses. That the golden age for women entrepreneurship has begun.
Yet, we come across facts like these: Women get 33 million less capital than men for their ventures.
That 90% of all startups that raised series A funding never saw a female founder. That men start with almost 6 times more capital than women do.
That 43% of them leave the workforce after having children and struggle to get back; no matter how smart or productive they are after they become parents. That a growing number of women are returning to work as "momprenuers"; undoubtedly because many of them do not find the flexibility they need to work in a corporate setting while raising a young family.
It's a fact that women face systemic social and financial challenges while starting a business.
Here is a list of 25 enterprises that are determined to propel women into success by focusing on the unique challenges they face.
1. 37 Angels
37 Angels is a network of 50 women investors whose mission is to focus on the holistic entrepreneurial support for women. With a keen spotlight on early investment education, they train women investors as much as aspiring women founders of startups. The network picks about 8 companies every 2 months to pitch to their network of investors and invest between 50-150 K into each company.
2. Ladies Who Launch
Ladies who Launch was founded with the sole intention of providing inspiration and advice to women entrepreneurs. From templates for business or marketing plans,to free advice and inspiring stories of other female entrepreneurs, this website provides as much inspiration as practical advice.
BusinessUSA's mission is to help small businesses and exporters navigate the world of Government regulations by connecting them to services and information relevant to them through the intervention of technology. They have special support programs for women-owned businesses including special certification courses for businesses that show at least 51% ownership by women.
SCORE helps entrepreneurs thrive by mentoring and educating them through small vibrant communities. Every year, SCORE's volunteers freely give over 1 million hours of their time to support their communities. They also have special programs for women to them locate everything they need to kick start and grow their business.