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  • Monday, June 21, 2021 10:00 AM | Anonymous

    At 17, she asked herself, “Why are men always in control in relationships?” At 31, Whitney Wolfe Herd, founder of the woman-focused dating app Bumble, is the world’s youngest female self-made billionaire.

    he first time I met Whitney Wolfe Herd, four years ago, Bumble HQ was a humble two-bedroom apartment in downtown Austin, Texas. A fresh-faced team of just 10 (with a further 20 in London, New York and Los Angeles), plus Wolfe Herd’s elderly golden Labrador, Jack, were crammed into the tiny space, whose entire second bedroom was a storage cupboard of bright yellow Bumble-branded merch. Wolfe Herd, then 27 and undeniably impressive – polished, passionate, articulate, driven – had founded the dating app that forces women to make the first move just two-and-a-half years earlier. She had recently made the prestigious Forbes 30 Under 30 list, alongside Australian actor Margot Robbie, bestselling American author Emma Cline and American Olympic gymnast Simone Biles.

    In the four years since, she’s been busy. She got married – to Michael Herd, a 33-year-old Texan oil heir, in a lavish three-day event at a castle on the Amalfi Coast – and had a son, Bobby, now 18 months. Bumble’s employees now number more than 700 across offices in Austin, Barcelona, London and Moscow, with 42 million active users in 150 countries. And in February, four hours after Bumble was floated on the New York Stock Exchange, 31-year-old Wolfe Herd became not only the youngest female CEO to take a company public but also the youngest self-made female billionaire, with an estimated net worth of $US1.6 billion ($2 billion). I’m not quite sure what I’ve been doing with my past four years but, certainly, I now feel like a bit of a slouch.

    When Wolfe Herd logs onto Zoom today – on-brand in a pink, blue and black Bumble jumper – she has apparently not aged a day either. The only slight difference is her diffidence in disclosing her whereabouts; I’ve visited her former home, a mansion in enormous grounds beside Austin’s Colorado River, but the family no longer live there, she tells me. I imagine they’ve upgraded to somewhere even grander, given their combined worth these days. Since she’s using a yellow Bumble-branded background, however, I have no clues, save for some loud birdsong and occasional shouts from her toddler son. I don’t blame her for guarding her privacy: she’s a billionaire with a baby and a disturbing history of being targeted by trolls.

    She is, in fact, one of only 100 self-made female billionaires in the world, with self-made women still accounting for just 5 per cent of the world’s 500 richest people. Part of the problem is a lack of investment in female-founded companies. “It’s hard for women to get capital, because we are held to impossibly high standards,” says Wolfe Herd. “Men are applauded for being big, wild thinkers, while women are given very strict guidelines not to be too out there, to be measured and reserved. It’s hard for us even to be convicted in ourselves for fear of being labelled as self-obsessed or arrogant. I know because I have lived this.”

    Even Wolfe Herd’s success is disparaged by some, her achievements belittled because of her partnership with Badoo, the social network behemoth owned by Russian businessman Andrey Andreev, who invested heavily in Bumble in its start-up phase. “Badoo also made investments in a lot of other businesses that you’ve never heard of and which don’t exist any more,” counters Wolfe Herd. “We were given very modest resources and it was not $US100 million as some people reported. The notion that I just had everything handed to me, that’s not the truth.”

    I’ve hit a nerve and understandably so. That it’s easier for some to believe that Wolfe Herd – who has been dubbed, somewhat patronisingly, “the Elle Woods of the tech world”, a reference to the 2001 Reese Witherspoon film Legally Blonde – is simply the front-of-house furnishings and not the true founder of a billion-dollar business is evidence of exactly the misogyny she built her app to fight.

    For anyone who hasn’t been on the front lines of dating for a decade, Bumble works in a similar way to Tinder or Hinge – based on location and proximity, users swipe right for yes, left for no – but, crucially, women call the shots. Men cannot initiate a conversation (even if they swipe “yes”) and the female party has 24 hours to strike up a chat before the “match” expires. (In same-sex matches, both parties can initiate.) Although basic membership is free, users can upgrade to a premium plan for $44.99 a month or pay $79.99 for 30 “spotlights”, which sends their profile to the front of the queue that others will see when they swipe.

    “Do I think we’re solving the world’s problems? No. Do I think we have the potential to shift behaviour in a more positive direction? Yes.”

    “It’s not a biological imperative that says men have to ask us out; it’s social conditioning. And the internet has been engineered to reflect gender norms in relationships. But we can change it,” says Wolfe Herd. “I cannot count how many times I have heard women say, ‘I would have never made the first move, but now I approach in real life, too. I’ll make the first move.’ ” She beams. “And they tell me, ‘It’s because Bumble has normalised that for me.’ Bumble has normalised making that first move, whether in person – seeing someone that you think is attractive or interesting – or elsewhere, like sending someone your CV.

    “Do I think we’re solving the world’s problems? No. Do I think that, by making small tweaks through product and technology, we have the potential to shift behaviour in a more positive direction? Yes. And do I think that there are long-term positive implications from that? I do believe that is true, yes.”

    Click Here to Read the rest of the article.

  • Monday, June 14, 2021 10:00 AM | Anonymous

    When I started my business eight years ago, I thought I knew everything I needed to know about being an entrepreneur.

    I quickly discovered I knew nothing about running a successful business.

    In those years, I realized how challenging it actually is to provide a service and differentiate yourself from others, especially in a crowded place such as social media. The number of digital marketers and social media managers in almost every corner of the world is staggering. There are thousands of them, if not hundreds of thousands.

    These are the lessons I learned from running my business that I am now applying to my ventures.

    Create partnerships

    To expand my operations beyond the core service, I wanted (and still want) to build additional businesses that will allow me to do what I love and reach my goals. One of the ways I expanded my business is by partnering with individuals in my space on specific projects.

    But I felt support for women entrepreneurs in digital marketing was lacking. Many organizations help entrepreneurs. Others help women. And still, others help digital marketers. So one of my goals became uplifting women entrepreneurs and business owners.

    To Read the Rest of the Article Click Here!

  • Monday, June 07, 2021 10:00 AM | Anonymous

    There are currently 2,755 billionaires in the world, worth a collective $13.1 trillion, Forbes reported. This small fraction of the population has reached levels of wealth most of us can't even fathom, and this lack of attainability makes being a billionaire all the more fascinating.

    The Majority of the World's Billionaires Are Self-Made

    In 2001, less than half of the world's billionaires (49%) were self-made -- most had inherited their fortunes, Forbes reported. In 2021, 72% of the world's billionaires are self-made, up from 70% the year prior.

    To read the rest of these interesting facts Click Here!

  • Monday, May 31, 2021 9:00 AM | Anonymous

    Winston Churchill once said: “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”

    The optimist in me sees so many opportunities in the world for women entrepreneurs as we emerge from the pandemic.

    Before the COVID-19 crisis, women-owned 40% of the businesses in the U.S., representing more than 12.3 million firms. As of 2020, these companies employed nearly 9 million people and generated $1.8 trillion in sales. Last year alone, women started 1,821 new businesses every day. Of these, over 60% were started by women of color, and Latina women-owned businesses grew more than 87%.

    The reasons women become business owners are varied, but according to Guidant Financial’s Women in Business: 2021 Trends survey, 29% said they were ready to be their own boss, 20% wanted to pursue their own interests or passions, and 13% were tired of corporate careers.

    For over 60% of these women entrepreneurs, these businesses are their primary source of income. These are often necessity businesses and are owned by solopreneurs, but their female owners are building a very important economic foundation for future growth.

    For over 60% of these women entrepreneurs, these businesses are their primary source of income. These are often necessity businesses and are owned by solopreneurs, but their female owners are building a very important economic foundation for future growth. 

    Women-founded companies seem to be doing better than many of those founded by men, yet they have a harder time acquiring capital.

    According to Frontera.com, private tech companies led by women achieve 35% higher ROI. And women-founded companies in First Round Capital’s portfolio outperformed companies founded by men by 63%. Yet, women receive just 7% of venture funds for their startups. No wonder women who start companies must feel like they’re pushing very large boulders up very steep hills. Why do it?

    Yet, we know that data points taken out of context can be very deceiving. Is the future wide open for the creative genius of women creators? Or are societal barriers and gender bias going to hold women back from success?

    Forget the problems. Look at the opportunities. Maybe, the best strategy for these times is to pause, step back and rethink where women entrepreneurs are going and how they can get to wherever they want to go.

    Let’s become market creators, not just another competitor. Time for a Blue Ocean Strategy!

    The optimist in me sees the post-pandemic environment as one in which women can turn the lack of certainty into a time of growth and opportunity. This is actually an advantageous time to be market creators instead of just “another” competing for the same customers.

    As a Blue Ocean strategist, I see a business environment filled with unmet needs, nonusers seeking solutions, and great opportunities for adding value innovatively. Blue Ocean thinking is so right for these times. At my consulting firm, we have conducted almost 500 workshops on Blue Ocean Strategy, and our message to these groups is two-fold: 1) stop competing in a crowded red ocean where others are doing just what you are doing, and 2) go exploring.

    The first is essential if you are going to break out of your old way of doing things: namely, gauging yourself by the look-alike businesses that you’ve competed with in the past.

    The second is an important skill set to add to your entrepreneurial approach. You are a creator, aren’t you? Now is a perfect time to think about how to create a new market space. Your clients in the past — indeed, the whole marketplace — have changed. You’ll never know what is happening out there sitting in your office and hoping the past reconstructs itself the way it was. You have to get out and see for yourself.

    Now is a perfect time to think about how to create a new market space. Your clients in the past — indeed, the whole marketplace — have changed. 

    Who should you be searching for? Potential customers with unmet needs. And customers who have not been seeing your solution as the right one for them. They’re there, you just need to look around.

    What does all this mean for a woman entrepreneur? For the Seven areas to focus on, Click Here!

  • Monday, May 24, 2021 10:00 AM | Anonymous

    The year 2020 was especially difficult for working mothers and fathers. While trying to care for their children, many parents struggled to keep their jobs or were forced to leave their jobs. One in five (19.6%) working age adults were not working because the pandemic “disrupted their childcare arrangements,” according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

    Working mothers especially have had to bear the brunt of this problem. “Of those [adults] not working, women ages 25-44 are almost three times as likely as men to not be working due to childcare demands.” In addition, The Washington Post reported that “one out of four women who reported becoming unemployed during the pandemic said it was because of a lack of child care—twice the rate among men.”

    But there is an upside to these setbacks: entrepreneurship can provide new opportunities for moms of all ages. The pandemic has not deterred people from starting new businesses. Last year more than 4.3 million applications for employer identification numbers (EINs) were filed. These are the tax IDs which enable entrepreneurs to open business bank accounts and are a requirement for hiring employees. Essentially, having this tax ID preps individuals for starting small businesses and becoming entrepreneurs.

    If the broader economy is unable to support working mothers, then they may find entrepreneurship affords them the necessary flexibility and autonomy within their career path. Let’s take a look at what positions working moms for success as entrepreneurs.

    Self-employment enables independence and the ability to take control of your future

    In February 2021, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation released a report called “Economic Engagement of Mothers: Entrepreneurship, Employment, and the Motherhood Wage Penalty.” The report covers how we can support mothers’ access to opportunities to engage in the economy. Further, it details easing their access to opportunity through entrepreneurship.

    Why do mothers want to become entrepreneurs? According to the report, mothers who have chosen entrepreneurship over the last five years have several motivators on their side. Of the women surveyed, 57% said they made the leap so they could be their own boss; 52% said they wanted to make more money and essentially obtain a higher standard of living.

    To Read the Rest of the Article Click Here

  • Monday, May 17, 2021 10:00 AM | Anonymous

    The glass ceiling exists around the world. From the U.S. to India, women work harder to get a foot in the door, a seat at the table or a place at the top of established businesses. But what about women who want to start their own businesses? Professor Gaurav Chiplunkar discusses in this Ideas to Action podcast with the Batten Institute’s Sean Carr, the barriers they face might be even greater. To examine the challenge, Chiplunkar shared his new research on the barriers faced by female entrepreneurs in developing countries, how their challenges harm the entire economy, and what business leaders and policymakers can do about it.

    Click Here to read the article

  • Monday, May 10, 2021 10:00 AM | Anonymous

    Who are the lowest risks for banks? Women entrepreneurs, new research reveals. If only we were getting credit for it. (And yes, I mean that in both senses of the word.)

    Knowing that women receive less than 5 percent of small business loans, CNote partnered with ICA Fund Good Jobs, an Oakland, California–based community development financial institution that invests in high-potential businesses, to find out if women are riskier borrowers. ICA analyzed 10 years of loan repayment data from six CDFIs (community development financial institutions) participating in the Wisdom Fund, evaluating risk based on three factors: the probability of default, the likelihood of delinquency, and expected losses. It then applied a statistical model to predict how likely different groups of borrowers are to default on their loans.

    Making the case for lending to women entrepreneurs

    Three data points from ICA’s preliminary analysis stand out:

    On average, women are a lower credit risk than men. ICA found that women are 2 to 4.5 percent less likely to default on loans than men.

    Women of color are not riskier than other demographics. Breaking down the gender data, ICA found no statistically significant difference between women of color and other groups of borrowers in terms of default and delinquency rates.

    Women entrepreneurs get smaller loans and may pay more for them. Despite their low risk profile, the study found that women typically get smaller loans than men—even when controlling for factors like industry, loan type, and loan purpose. Women also paid higher average interest rates over the study period.

    These findings are particularly striking given that CDFIs primarily serve people and communities that are underserved by mainstream financial institutions, including women and people of color. We can only imagine the gap between credit and creditworthiness at traditional financial institutions, which can’t collect data on loan applicants that is unrelated to assessing their creditworthiness.

    Click Here to Read the Rest

  • Monday, May 03, 2021 10:00 AM | Anonymous

    While this article is focused on South Africa, the points made can apply to every female entrepreneur worldwide.

    Microbusinesses will play a key role in helping South Africa rebuild the economy and employ millions of South Africans in the aftermath of the global Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and national lockdown implemented to help curb its local spread.    

    Microbusiness have a vital role to play in rebuilding South Africa’s economy in a post-COVID-19-pandemic world, with a major goal of the South African Government being to strengthen small and medium sized companies. Doing so, is quite difficult within a challenging business environment, where even pre-COVID-19 South Africa already had amongst the highest start-up failure rates globally. Moreover, the GEM 2019/2020 report also found that for the local population (aged 18–64), fear of failure is a major obstacle preventing them from starting up a business in the country.

    Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of AMAZI, Divya Vasant, provides her Top 3 ways through which the company’s Incubation Programme will alleviate the major concerns and fears female entrepreneurs have that prevent them from starting their own businesses.

    #1 Fear due to a lack of support and infrastructure

    Like most other local industries, the COVID-19 pandemic has overwhelmed the wellness industry, and has resulted in many skilled women who worked as beauty technicians and stylists in salons being unemployed at home. These women, however, sport the knowledge and skills to potentially run their own ventures.

    A lot of them want to be entrepreneurial, but are scared of doing so. AMAZI’s Incubator Programme will assist these women to get back on their feet. The incubation program will target women who have previously acquired technical beauty training and skills, and have worked in the industry, but as a result of COVID have lost their jobs and now want to learn to run their own businesses. The programme is an opportunity to provide a supported and cushioned way for a woman to ease herself into being a micro-entrepreneur in order to capitalise on one of the biggest income opportunities for women in South Africa.

    The Programme takes the fear experienced by these female entrepreneurs away because they are supported from application to onboarding into the initiative. They submit their application to the Programme and the top candidates undergo a five-day business bootcamp where they receive amongst others, help with creating a business plan for the sustainability of their income for their businesses. Following the successful completion of this bootcamp, AMAZI selects candidates to continue into the Incubator Programme, during which those female entrepreneurs run their new venture out of one of AMAZI’s stores across the country over a 12-month period.

    Click Here to Read the Rest

  • Monday, April 26, 2021 10:00 AM | Anonymous

    After over a year of the global COVID-19 pandemic, it’s safe to say the majority of the population has experienced some sort of unforeseen circumstance. This has caused many to be forced to adapt and find new ways to power through, whether that be through starting a new endeavor or completely changing up one’s path. Regardless, the one common theme that has remained necessary in order to achieve success and seize new opportunities has been the power of resilience. 

    Attract has surveyed several female entrepreneurs to find out exactly how these individuals have been able to successfully navigate uncharted challenges, and furthermore, what has helped these female entrepreneurs remain resilient during a time of crisis. 

    Click Here to Read the Rest

  • Monday, April 19, 2021 10:00 AM | Anonymous

    A dear friend of mine once said, “Life turns you into an expert at things you never chose to become an expert at.” This resonates with me a lot as an entrepreneur and mother of two. It’s one of the worst stereotypes these days to see a businesswoman who is also a mother and ask, “How do you do it?” Do men ever get asked that?

    The fact of the matter is, female entrepreneurs have a whole different skill set than their male counterparts, and this is out of necessity. Far be it from me to look at this and think that we’re forced, kicking and screaming, to learn to work harder, smarter, and more efficiently than our male peers. In my experience, it’s best to approach the challenges by thinking, this is a gift.

    Let’s explore six things that female entrepreneurs know about business and life that men don’t necessarily not know, but can never understand to the degree that women do.

    6 things women in business know

    1. Constantly facing challenges makes you better able to overcome them

    Entrepreneurs are known as people who, in general, challenge expectations and defy norms. As women entrepreneurs, we’re bucking norms from the start simply by becoming entrepreneurs in the first place. Our businesses are automatically in the minority, because in the business world so are we—there aren’t nearly as many female entrepreneurs as there are male entrepreneurs.

    So if you’re launching a business based on an innovative new app, service, or product that is like nothing anyone has seen before, there’s less of a chance that you will be daunted by challenges, because as a woman business owner you’re already breaking new ground merely by coming into the office each morning.

    2. You must claim your seat at the table, nobody will give it to you

    As a woman, have you ever stepped into a “Boys’ Club”-type environment and wondered, where are all the other women? This is what it can feel like to attend a business networking event, where striking up a conversation that will be taken seriously is an uphill battle. But we female entrepreneurs will not be held back—this barrier to business networking is exactly what makes us good at it. You learn to hold your head up high and speak with authority. You need to be very grounded.

    Something that I’m always fascinated by is how women stay strong in situations where they’re so clearly in the minority. To my mind, the strongest, fiercest female entrepreneurs gain their strength from their sense of conviction: conviction in their business and their right to have a seat at the table. This does not come easily, but women learn over time how to stay centered, even when everyone wants to push them over.

    3. You must learn to ask for what you want and need

    Did you know that raising capital for female-owned businesses is far more difficult than it is for men? Of course you did, because it probably seems obvious. Just as networking is more difficult, so is securing funding, which is key for any new business to get off the ground. Investors tend to invest in those who seem like them in some way, and it’s clear that there are fewer female investors, just as there are fewer female business owners. When an impediment is put in your way, you have to be very clever to get around it.

    I always refer to my favorite television show for entrepreneurs, Shark Tank, because we entrepreneurs can learn so much from watching it. One of the key things watching the show can teach you is knowing exactly how much money you need for your business, and then asking for it. As women, we’re often inclined to ask for less than what’s required. Once we have learned that this is a big mistake for anyone who wants to start a business, we’re sure to always speak up with investors to get what we need.

    Click Here to Read the Rest!

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