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Empowering Female Founders: 5 Ways We Can Start Supporting Each Other

"Another woman doing what you're doing is not your competition. She is your SISTER. Support HER. Encourage HER. Believe in HER."- Anon.

Woman speaking into microphone
As more women step into entrepreneurship, it's clear that toxicity is an issue

With the rise of women in entrepreneurship, it's evident that the toxicity impacting relationships among women is also manifesting in the business world.

And it's a pity.

Just recently, a prominent instance of this was witnessed in the U.S. House of Representatives. Without going into details, it's safe to say that the "Mean Girls' Syndrome" is still prevalent in 2024.

As a dedicated business strategist catering to female founders and women-owned startups, we all encounter distinctive challenges on our path. However, by cultivating supportive communities, we can effectively navigate shared hurdles and attain greater success. 

Two women standing in front of their business
social networks are crucial for women in building a career or starting a business

Empowering Strategies for Becoming "Our Sisters' Keepers"

1. Building and Leveraging Networks:

According to Economist and social researcher Ashley Wong, "social networks are crucial for women in building a career or starting a business". She goes on to state that "access to online networking groups offers significant benefits for female entrepreneurs, who see a 21% increase in profits".

The Female Founders Alliance (FFA) is a powerful example of how a supportive network can drive success. By providing access to resources, mentorship, and funding opportunities, the FFA has helped numerous women-led startups scale their businesses.

Empowering Actions: Ways to Make a Difference

What you can do: 

  1. Join or create networking groups specifically for female founders. 

  2. Regularly attend events and actively participate in discussions to build meaningful connections.

"I support other women, because I'm not them and they are not me. We are meant to shine differently"- Monica Bravo.

2. Share your Knowledge and Resources:

From the inception of my business, I've shared what I know. In the pandemic, I started doing IG Lives-without a smart phone or any of the accoutrements. But I did it-because I needed to stay connected with those I was serving.

May 2020 report by McKinsey & Company, encompassing 15 countries and more than 1,000 large companies found that a substantial differential likelihood of outperformance-48 percent-separates the most from the least gender-diverse companies.

SheEO is a global community of women dedicated to providing female entrepreneurs with the resources and support they need to overcome barriers and achieve their goals in marginalized communities. They have also empowered female founders to share their expertise, resources, and funding to help other women succeed.

Empowering Actions: Take Charge of Your Options

What you can do:

  1. Create a platform or forum where fempreneurs can share their experiences, insights, and resources. 

  2. This can be through online communities, regular meetups, or collaborative projects.

Woman sitting by a table
There's always an opportunity for a "scrappy entrepreneur" . But if you never ask, the answer is always "No"

3. Provide Mentorship and Guidance to "New Entrants": 

LinkedIn's 2024 Workplace Learning Report indicates that post pandemic, the workplace has become more agile-and with AI-even more so.

According to their findings, 7 in every 10 employees believe learning and development helps them remain connected to their organizations, while 8 in 10 say it adds purpose to their work. 

Launched in 2018, The Female Founder Collective’s mentorship program connects seasoned entrepreneurs with newcomers, providing guidance, advice, and support. This has helped many women navigate the complexities of running a business.

Empowering Actions: Making a Difference

What you can do:

  1. Offer to mentor other female founders.

  2. Seek out a mentor for yourself.

" A glowing woman can help other women glow and still be lit"-Casey.

4. Advocate for Each Other:

Listen up, we are fully aware of a fempreneur who exudes confidence and will not hesitate to challenge anyone. We're also familiar with those "Exclusive Cliques" pretending to be "Professional Women's Organizations".

However, here's the deal - there are numerous women eager to help or support their fellow "Sisters in Success".

A recent survey busted many of the myths around women in the workplace. Key findings include the fact that "women are more ambitious than before the pandemic-and flexibility is fueling that ambition".

However, the former "Glass Ceiling" has now been replaced by the "Broken Rung"-especially around women of color, with 73 being promoted to manager for every 100 men. 

The #TimesUp movement has also shown the power of collective advocacy. Six years in, women in various industries have been able to push for systemic changes and greater accountability.

Empowering Actions: How to Make a Difference

What you can do:

  1. Use your platform to advocate for other female founders. 

  2. Promote their businesses on social media.

  3. Provide referrals.

  4. Speak up in meetings-your support can make a significant impact.

Woman being served at an event
I ONLY use small business owners (whether products or services) in ALL my events!

5. Collaborate and Partner:

In 2018, I made the bold decision to leave my job and pursue the work I was truly destined for. 

And you know what?

I only wish I had started sooner.

Gallup estimates that an empowered and motivated employee increases profits by 21%, increases sales by 20%, and reduces safety incidents by 70%.

In such environments, teamwork is encouraged, along with a shared sense of purpose-one where employees feel valued and supported, leading to increased creativity, innovation, and productivity. 

The partnership between Rebecca Minkoff and Ali Wyatt, Co-Founders of The Female Founder Collective has led to initiatives that support and promote female-led businesses. These collaborations have amplified their reach and impact.

Empowering Actions: Ways to Make a Difference

What you can do:

  1. Look for opportunities to collaborate with other female founders. 

  2. Joint ventures, co-hosted events, and shared projects can open new avenues for growth and innovation.

"Don't be the woman who has to knock other women down to stand out. Be the woman who congratulates other women, has their backs, and tells them they are amazing. Be a badass woman like that!"- Stephanie Bennett Henry.

By actively supporting each other, we can create a thriving ecosystem where female founders flourish. So let’s build each other up, share our knowledge, and work together to break shared barriers and achieve success.

Do you have a story about how you've supported another female founder? Share it with me, and you could be featured in my next blog!


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