While Cisco, Eventbrite, Orange Theory Fitness, 23andMe, and Bumble all sound like a random list of companies when grouped together, they all have one thing in common. They are all billion-dollar businesses that were founded by women.
If you look deeper into the tales of these “girl bosses,” you’ll find stories of drive, determination, and support. While those three traits are what each of the above founders exhibited as they broke into the male-dominated startup world, the support piece is a newer concept.
Being a woman in business is hard. It’s challenging to command the attention of the room and have you, and your business idea, taken seriously. But there’s a shift happening, and more and more resources created specifically for women by women are being made available. And more and more women are breaking into the startup world, a world that was previously heavily occupied by men.
Read on to find 12 resources that are available to female entrepreneurs.
No matter where you are based, SCORE has a full library of resources available for female entrepreneurs. Their resources include blog posts, infographics, webinars, podcasts, and just all-around inspiration for you as you browse their catalog of stories of triumphs, and trials and tribulations, from fellow female entrepreneurs.
Women’s Tech Radio is a Jupiter Broadcasting podcast that delivers empowering conversations between women in the tech space. They aren’t limited to one area of tech and have had featured guests from coders, to developers, to engineers, to founders, to hopeful entrepreneurs. What is particularly great about this podcast, is that it gives women in this space a role model to look up to, because they give their listeners the raw stories of success, hurdles, and triumphs.
Networking and Training Resources:
Founded by Angela Lee, 37 Angels is a community of female investors that are armed with the same goal: to break into the male-dominated investment world by making female investors more commonplace. They do this by educating and training early-stage women investors through their investor training boot camp, which takes place both online and in-person in New York City (pre-COVID). During this boot camp, women are empowered with all the knowledge and resources they need to succeed in this space.
Beyond female entrepreneur support, there are a variety of resources for female entrepreneurs that are also associated with different minority groups. BOSS stands for “Bringing Out Successful Sisters” and is a networking and professional development platform for African American women entrepreneurs and professionals. Their community of members attends online and event-based networking opportunities where they build each other up as they promote their startup ventures.
Another resource for female entrepreneurs that are a part of a minority group is Digital Undivided. Digital Undivided brings together African American and Latino female entrepreneurs that are at any stage in their startup pipeline. This platform includes a 26-week incubator, access to a research initiative focused on women of color and tech entrepreneurship called #ProjectDiane, and networking events.
Based in New York, In Good Company provides an alternative to the typical co-working spaces you encounter. What sets them apart is that when you book a coworking space as a woman founder, you’ll be surrounded by fellow female entrepreneurs. Once a part of their community, you’ll be invited to their regular networking sessions, their self-described “get S$% done” sessions, various classes, and opportunities for peer mentorship. If you aren’t based in New York, their blog is also a terrific resource on a wide range of topics female entrepreneurs may encounter – from dealing with the inevitable gender gap to maternity leave.
After looking around and seeing a lack of women in the room at networking events, Lizelle Van Vuuren decided to establish an organization to combat this. When Women Who Startup was born in Denver and Boulder, Lizelle created a space where female entrepreneurs could network by hosting networking events and summits. For those outside of Colorado, Lizelle hosts a podcast where she brings inspiring interviews with female entrepreneurs to business leaders across the country and world.
If you’re a female entrepreneur who already has $2M or more in revenue, but needs assistance in scaling up, then the EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women program may be a great resource for your business. EY hosts an annual national competition where if you win an award, you gain inside access to their renowned executive education program which includes access to year-round education, networking, and events.
Another option for investment support is the Female Founders Fund, which is focused on e-commerce startups. After taking notice of the vast talent of female entrepreneurs out there in the world, Female Founders Fund was launched in 2014 to invest in early-stage female-founded technology companies.
The inspiration behind SoGal Ventures first hit co-founder, Pocket Sun, during a class at USC when she took notice that the guest speakers in her class were often men and not women. This was the motivation Pocket needed to become the self-proclaimed first female-led millennial venture capital firm. SoGal invests in Pre-Seed to Series A startups not only and focuses on investing in start-up businesses with either female founders or diverse founding teams.
Established fashion brand, Tory Burch, saw an opportunity to enter this space of female entrepreneurs helping fellow female entrepreneurs and launched their Tory Burch Foundation. The Foundation’s support is widespread from offering a capital program that helps to provide access to affordable loans through community lenders, to a wide array of business and management education. Beyond this, they offer a Fellows program that consists of workshops, a year of support, a $10,000 award, and an opportunity to pitch your small-business idea for the chance to win a $100,000 grant!
Based in the New York and New Jersey area, WVF aims to provide women with the tools they need to establish a business in an urban community. They equip female entrepreneurs with access to business development programs, advisory services, technical help, and funding (for those in the New York City metro area). Their platform has helped launch more than 3,200 small businesses to date!
While this list only covers a handful of resources available to female entrepreneurs, you’ll find that the number of resources out there are no longer few and far between. You’ll also find that no matter which resource you choose, they all share a common goal: to level the playing field for female entrepreneurs and give female business owners the same opportunities as male business owners.