In the news: Women in Entrepreneurship

Photo Credit: CHEN KIRIN, CC BY-SA 2.0

From Harvard Business Review, “Women Entrepreneurs Are More Likely to Get Funding If They Emphasize Their Social Mission“, March 7, 2018.  For female founders, highlighting the social impact of their ventures leads to more positive perceptions. In short, social impact framing reduces the discriminatory effects of gender bias.

From Entrepreneur, “These Female Entrepreneurs Created a Fake Male Co-Founder to Work Around Sexism. How Well It Worked Is Incredibly Eye-Opening“, September 1, 2017.  Their experience shows how despite an intensified focus on issues of sexism in the tech industry, there is still a long way to go.

From The Boston Globe, “Funding for women entrepreneurs slackens, despite concerns about bias“, July 31, 2017.  Two years ago, following a high-profile sex-discrimination case, the male-dominated venture capital industry vowed to pull down the barriers blocking women entrepreneurs and investors.  But by some measures, the VC world has failed to deliver and is actually moving backward.

From USA Today, “How Silicon Valley can level the playing field for women“, July 13, 2017.  Silicon Valley has a woman problem. Sexual harassment. Sex discrimination. Lack of funding for women. Men in Silicon Valley just can’t seem to figure out how to work with women, especially with female entrepreneurs.

From The Boston Globe, “Flybridge Capital launches woman-only VC fund“, July 12, 2017 Though the fund has been in the works since February, Flybridge’s announcement comes as the venture capital industry is on the defensive over allegations of improper treatment of women, while the tech industry has long struggled to get more female executives into its upper ranks.

From The New York Times, “Why Women Don’t See Themselves as Entrepreneurs“, June 9, 2017.  For many Americans, starting their own business is the manifestation of the American dream: Take a risk, work hard, get rich. So why don’t more women do it?

From The Guardian, “Young entrepreneurs in Syria: ‘they’ll rebuild what the war has destroyed‘”, May 30, 2017 As the war enters its sixth year, an entrepreneurship programme in Lebanon is training the next generation of Syrian business owners.

From Forbes, “Funding Is The Biggest Challenge For Young, Female Founders“, May 30, 2017.  Gender inequality in startup funding is a well-documented problem. Techcrunch reported that between 2010 and 2015, companies with at least one female partner only received 10 percent of global venture capital funding and only 17 percent of seed/angel funds.

From WABE 90.1 FM, “Atlanta Incubator Gears Up For 2nd Class Of Women Entrepreneurs“, May 26, 2017.  In 2016, the city of Atlanta launched the Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative, a program providing 15 women business owners free office space and resources to grow their businesses.

From Fast Company, “The Tech’s Industry Missed Opportunity: Funding Black Women Founders“, May 25, 2017.  The fact that black women are educated and entrepreneurial yet so underfunded is a confluence of broadening thoughts of diversity, use of technology, and economic policy.

From Inc., “Meet America’s 10 Most Successful Women Entrepreneurs“, May 18, 2017 Women may not hold as many slots as men in the c-suite, but they’ve got entrepreneurship on lock.

From Harvard Business Review, “We Recorded VCs Conversations and Analyzed How Differently They Talk About Female Entrepreneurs“, May 17, 2017 We were given access to government venture capital decision-making meetings in Sweden and were able to observe the types of language that VCs used over a two-year period. One major thing stuck out: The language used to describe male and female entrepreneurs was radically different. And these differences have very real consequences for those seeking funding — and for society in general.

From CNBC, “More and more, women are combining profit with purpose to create a better world“, May 15, 2017 Like Janah, many women founders are infusing their businesses with philanthropy aimed at helping women with regard to education, work or health. In an era when mainstream, male-run companies — like TOMS Shoes, Patagonia and Warby Parker — have popularized models based on sustainability and giving back, rising female entrepreneurs are increasingly pitching their socially driven ideas to investors.

From Glamour, “These Two Entrepreneurs Want Every Woman to Have Access to the Tools She Needs to Build a Business“, May 15, 2017.  After working night and day for the past year, the duo just debuted the beta version of Alice, the first AI platform for women entrepreneurs. For women looking to build a business, they can find the answers to questions about any financing, strategy, marketing, and legal needs by simply asking Alice.

From Inc., “Why More Moms Should Become Entrepreneurs“, May 12, 2017.  As an entrepreneur, myself, who launched a company after spending almost two decades at home raising our children, I am well aware of the benefits and barriers of choosing the route of entrepreneurship as a mother.

From The Economist, “‘Girlboss’ is another disappointing take on female entrepreneurship“, May 10, 2017.  Nonetheless, high-flying females are underrepresented on screen, which makes Netflix’s decision to devote a show to one encouraging. “Girlboss”, a 13-episode series released late last month, takes Sophia Amoruso and her company Nasty Gal as its subjects.

From Forbes, “The Next Steve Jobs – A Black Woman – Only Gets Funding Crumbs“, May 3, 2017.  Steve Jobs revolutionized the computer industry, the way we listen to music, and how we make phone calls. Angel Rich wants to revolutionize financial literacy education and level the playing field between those who have money and those who don’t. But she’s playing on an uneven field. Jobs was a white man and Rich is a black woman.

From Entrepreneur, “Tory Burch Says Inspiring Entrepreneurs Share These 3 Qualities“, April 20, 2017.  In 2009, Burch launched the Tory Burch Foundation to help women entrepreneurs get their start, by providing resources, mentorship, networking opportunities and access to capital.

From Forbes, “Startup Founders of Little Spoon Talk Style and Entrepreneurship“, April 12, 2017 In a startup world that’s dominated by men with an unspoken focus on smarts and pedigrees, three co-founders of the baby food company set to shake up the industry, Little Spoon, share why they think fashion and style are important to their roles as female entrepreneurs.

From BBC News, “Meet the female entrepreneurs using tech for good“, April 11, 2017.  Jude Ower loved playing video games as a child, but she never dreamed that her passion would eventually become a force for good and win her accolades and honours. After 12 years making games for education and training, she went on to create an international games platform with a social conscience – Playmob.

From The Guardian, “‘We are all entrepreneurs’: Muhammad Yunus on changing the world, one microloan at the time“, March 28, 2017 “There are roughly 160 million people all over the world in microcredit, mostly women. And they have proven one very important thing: that we are all entrepreneurs. Illiterate rural women in the villages, in the mountains, take tiny little loans – $30, $40 – and they turn themselves into successful entrepreneurs.” He points out that entrepreneurship is a particular boon for women, whose family duties – which they still shoulder even in more egalitarian western countries – make the nine-to-five world difficult.

From The Huffington Post, “Great Advice From Female Founders and Women in Venture Capital“, March 28, 2017.  It seems as if a grey cloud constantly looms over The Bay Area for female founders – and no, it’s not “Karl the Fog”. Rather than being caused by Mother Nature, a cloud of “venture capital uncertainty” has developed in Silicon Valley and its impacting female entrepreneurs.

From The Economic Times, “Women entrepreneurs are carving out a niche for themselves in ‘unconventional’ businesses“, March 4, 2017When Aakanksha Bhargava joined her father’s logistics business PM Relocations in 2007, she was looked upon as the boss’ daughter. Getting work done by male subordinates was difficult, clients acted apprehensive and customers didn’t take her seriously. Cut to 2017 – Bhargava is now the undisputed boss.

From The Washington Post, “Business Rx: She knows how to knock on doors. But will investors open their wallets?“, March 1, 2017This week, a female entrepreneur asks for advice on how to succeed in male-dominated investment world.

From CNBC,Why women entrepreneurs will be the economic force to reckon with in 2017“, February 28, 2017.  The Golden Age for women entrepreneurs has finally begun. The stars have aligned to help trigger the trend as robust ecosystems churn out enterprising females equipped with inspiration, know-how and funding. In recent years, the rate of women entrepreneurs has been growing at a percentage at least double that of their male counterparts.

From Harvard Business Review, “The Different Reasons Men and Women Leave Their Successful Startups“, February 17, 2017.  Female entrepreneurs are more likely than their male peers to exit voluntarily, and for personal reasons, than as a result of business failure. Women’s exit motives are guided by personal factors and gender-related expectations to a higher extent than men’s. For example, women are more likely to consider their startups a success based on nonmonetary factors like customer satisfaction and social impact.

From The Guardian, “The women-led startups smashing the glass ceiling“, January 11, 2017 Just 19% of serial entrepreneurs are women and business investment is controlled largely by men – but things are changing.

From Slate, “Male Entrepreneur Advises Women to Disguise Their Gender If They Want Success“, September 29, 2016 Of the thousands of pieces of advice for wannabe entrepreneurs, one of the most consistent is that it’s crucial to develop a personal brand…..That is, unless you’re a woman. In that case, John Greathouse, a former “serial entrepreneur” and partner at the venture capital firm Rincon Venture Partners, has some advice for you in the Wall Street Journal: Scrub the internet of any indication that your personal brand includes a vagina.

From The Atlantic, “What It’s Like to Be a Woman in Venture Capital“, September 26, 2016 Ann Crady Weiss, an entrepreneur and venture partner in Silicon Valley, talks about being a female executive in tech.

From Hypepotamus, “Theia Washington Smith Energizes the Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative“, August 16, 2016.  On the penthouse floor of the historic FlatironCity building in Downtown Atlanta, a bright pink wall reads: “Successful Women Equal Successful Families, Communities and Cities.” The words were spoken by Mayor Kasim Reed as he tried to bring his vision of an incubator for women entrepreneurs to a reality. Well, he succeeded.

From Entrepreneur, “Single Women Are Crushing the Entrepreneurial Game (and You Can, Too)“, July 1, 2016.  In the race to entrepreneurship, single women aren’t just at the head of the pack — they’re blazing a trail for everyone behind them. According to U.S. Labor Department data, single women are becoming entrepreneurs at a faster rate than married women and, surprisingly, men in general.

From The Guardian, “One of the barriers for women entrepreneurs is a lack of role models“, March 8, 2016.  Ten years ago serial entrepreneur Bev Hurley set up Enterprising Women to help women into business. On International Women’s Day, she looks back on what’s changed.

From Forbes, “Women Entrepreneurs Fuel Social Change and Economic Growth“, February 3, 2016.  For years, women have had to adapt to the male way of doing things, even when starting our businesses. But things are changing! The number of women growing their businesses beyond $1 million has reached a tipping point. An impressive 24% of all businesses have more than 50% ownership by women, according to a report by the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce.

From Forbes, “Why The Force Will Be With Women Entrepreneurs in 2016“, January 6, 2016.  My 10 reasons the force will be with women entrepreneurs are a mix of marketplace trends, expanding financing options, and the growing recognition that support is needed and is effective.