Tech is for everyone, male or females. Mashable talks about the acknowledgment of female’s difficulties when launching or growing their business and provides us with 10 real resources to fix the problem.
“This year’s headlines are full of stories on technology’s “bro culture” and the gender imbalance in entrepreneurship and the tech world. For all the strides that women have made in starting businesses, a massive divide still exists between male and women founders: only 18 percent of startups have at least one female founder and only 16 percent of small business loans go to women entrepreneurs.
However, in the nearly two decades since I launched my first business, I have seen real progress in terms of resources. Today, there’s an abundance of groups, programs, networks, and platforms designed to encourage and boost female entrepreneurship. Women who have made it are reaching out to help other women, without expectations of anything in return.
If you’re looking to launch or want to grow an existing business, you don’t have to go it alone. Here are some incredible resources for female entrepreneurs:
37 angels is a community of women investors with the mission to educate early stage investors and train more women to become investors. 37 angels was founded by longtime entrepreneur, Columbia business school adjunct professor and Pipeline alumna Angela Lee.
Last year, 26 percent of angels were women. That figure has more than doubled since 2011 when it was only 12 percent, but we can still do better. 37 angels offers investor bootcamps (both online and in NYC) to learn the art of angel investing. And, female (and male) founders can apply for a chance to pitch the 37 angels network in NYC.
The BOSS Network
BOSS, “Bringing Out Successful Sisters,” is a networking platform and membership organization for primarily African American women entrepreneurs and professionals. Their mission is to promote the small business spirit and professional development of multicultural women. The community supports each other through online and event-based networking.
Digital Undivided leads high potential Black and Latinx women founders through the startup pipeline. Their programs include a 26-week incubator program, #ProjectDiane (a research initiative focused on women of color and tech entrepreneurship), and networking events. Their mantra: “We’re all about investing where others won’t. Championing what others don’t. We’re doubling down on opportunities that others consider small bets.” Yes!
Ernst & Young Entrepreneurial Winning Women
The EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women program helps women-owned businesses with $2M in revenue or above scale quickly. It’s a national competition and executive education program (includes year-round education, networking, and events). If you’re interested, keep in mind that applications are closed now but will open again in March 2018.
Female Founders Fund
Female Founders Fund launched in 2014 to invest in early-stage female-founded technology companies. Areas of focus include e-commerce, web-enabled services/products, marketplaces, and platforms.
SoGal Ventures calls itself the first female-led millennial venture capital firm. They invest in pre-Seed to Series A startups in the U.S. and Asia with female founders or otherwise diverse founding teams. SoGal initially started as a community group inside a USC classroom after co-founder Pocket Sun noticed that very few of the guest speakers in her entrepreneurship classes were women.
Tory Burch Foundation
The Tory Burch Foundation aims to empower female entrepreneurs through capital, education, and fellowship programs. Their capital program with Bank of America helps provide access to affordable loans through Community Lenders. Through a partnership with Goldman Sachs’s 10,000 Small Businesses, the foundation provides women small-business owners with business and management education. And, the Tory Burch Fellows Program includes workshops, a year of support, a $10,000 award, and a chance to pitch for a $100,000 grant.
Women’s Business Center
There are over 100 Women’s Business Centers located throughout the US to help women start and grow small business centers. These educational centers are run by the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Office of Women’s Business Ownership. Their goal is to “level the playing field” for women entrepreneurs. Check out the SBA website to find a WBC near you.
Women’s Venture Fund
Women’s Venture Fund (WVF) is a nonprofit organization that helps women establish businesses in urban communities with business development programs, advisory services, technical assistance, and funding (in NYC metro area). To date, they’ve helped launched more than 3,200 small businesses.
Women Who Startup
Women Who Startup is a network of female entrepreneurs that are supported by accelerators and investors in Denver, Colorado. Founder Lizelle Van Vuuren founded the organization after asking herself where were all the women in the room in corporate networking and startup events. Women Who Startup holds regular basecamp events in Denver and Boulder, and there’s also Women Who Startup Radio, an awesome podcast featuring insightful and inspiring interviews with female entrepreneurs.
Additional content-based resources
There’s a vast amount of articles and resources available on the web. I find these resources so beneficial to keep me motivated and provide viable solutions to challenges I face in my business (or challenges I face while trying to balance my life and business). Some of the sites worth checking out include: Ladies Who Launch, Lioness, Women 2.0.
This list is by no means exhaustive; it’s just a compilation of some of the funding, networking and support resources that are on my radar today. As I write this, I’m acutely aware of the organizations and programs I’m leaving out. And, I’m sure there are many more that I don’t know of – yet.”
Written by: Nellie Akalp “An entrepreneur, business expert, speaker, author, wife and mother to four. Nellie has been named a Top 100 Small Business Influencer by Small Business Trends the last five years and CorpNet.com has been recognized on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing privately-held companies in America in 2015 and 2016.”