Women entrepreneurs believe in a holistic way of witnessing favorable outcomes, where genders are not defining success.
With women in engineering, computer, and science being paid 79.2% of men’s annual median earning, marching towards gender parity comes across as stepping into a slow boat to China. However, letting the very notion of disdain and revolving statistics slide, there are many women trying hard to buck the trend. From being an acclaimed name in healthcare industry to taking the tech world by storm, many women have given thumbs up to aspiring women entrepreneurs globally.
We all start somewhere, they say! And, I strongly second that as there is no magical pill, which can enter your system and throw you out of your cubicle confinement to the world of business. We all should start somewhere and it becomes a must when you are determined to stand against disdaining norms and related statistics. Being a women entrepreneur myself, ensuring unruffled working of all the processes taking place at my venture capital firm comes across as an imperative task to me. Not just this, supporting women entrepreneurs and being a part of organizations, empowering women worldwide comes out as a moral obligation to me. I am pretty sure this is the story of many women entrepreneurs today.
Leading Women Entrepreneurs Redefining Success In The Entrepreneurial World
No! It is not just men on the leading business charts anymore. Women entrepreneurs believe in a holistic way of witnessing favorable outcomes, where genders are not defining success. The massive number of female-led startups and names like Lori Greiner and Barbara Corcoran certainly put a stamp on the very thought.
It is amazing to see women bringing up the diverse lines of businesses, doing nothing by halves and aspiring other young minds around. From retail industry to tech, I believe women are throwing signs of mastery in every field. Not only this, as per a study, women are also better at introducing unique products and services to the customers than men, i.e. 40% compared to 35%, ensuring that the bigger chunk of investor dollars is not confined by the gender precedence.
If I have to take a few, Oprah Winfrey is a name that comes first to my mind. With 25 seasons of “The Oprah Winfrey Show”, one of the longest-running daytime talk shows ever aired, Oprah Winfrey has succeeded as a show host, producer, philanthropist, and an actress. Net worth of around $3 billion makes her one of the richest and most popular women entrepreneurs in the world.
Another name that comes to my mind is Wang Laichun, one of the world’s youngest self-made female billionaires and the chairman of Luxshare, electronics manufacturers that supply parts to Apple.
Cher Wang, co-founder of HTC; Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx; and Arianna Huffington, founder of The Huffington Post, are a few names among others that have redefined success in the diverse world of entrepreneurship and business.
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Animus Women's Innovation Summit founder Lucienne Gigante says providing economic opportunities for women is what will set our global communities on a path to prosperity.
A month and a half after Hurricane Maria swept through Puerto Rico, leaving devastation in its wake, Lucienne Gigante says she knew exactly what she had to do.
Gigante has not one job, but four. She is works as a managing director at Golden Seeds, a venture capital and private equity firm that focuses on investing in women-led startups. She also runs strategy positioning firm LuGi, which helps companies align their community outreach programs with their business goals. Gigante also co-founded AccessLatina, a nonprofit that provides women entrepreneurs with access to capital.
Finally, in 2015, she co-founded the Animus Women’s Innovation Summit, an organization designed to help women grow and succeed professionally. After the storm, Gigante felt a responsibility to do her part to help as much as she could, the best way she knew how.
“In Puerto Rico, 60 percent of women heads of households in the labor force live below poverty level. And Puerto Rico has been going through a very long recession,” Gigante explains. “How can we provide the opportunities for the other 50 percent of the population to reach their economic potential?”
There was no question: the show -- Animus’s third annual conference in San Juan -- had to go on, even if it was a few weeks later than Gigante had originally planned. The event was sold out. On Dec. 1, 2017, more than 800 women networked and heard from established business owners, new startup founders and big names such as EGOT winner Rita Moreno. The fourth summit will be held on Nov. 30.
“There was an incredible challenge. We were then and [in many cases are] still fighting for survival for basic needs. So that became even more of an important mission to leverage driving women's economic development as a solution to move forward,” Gigante tells Entrepreneur. “Opening doors to women's economic development [is] a solution for a country, a town, a community to transform itself.”
Gigante shared her insights about how to build the infrastructure to help you, and everyone around you, accomplish goals. Click Here to Read More.
“When someone tells you that something can’t be done, all it really means is that it hasn’t been done before.” ~ Lori Greiner
The digital age has transformed how business is conducted in powerful ways. Thanks to new technology, more educational resources, and alternative fundraising options, it’s now easier than ever to start a business. With so many people launching new startups, savvy business investors like Shark Tank’s Lori Greiner are speaking out and advising entrepreneurs on how to be successful in this digital age.
I had the unique opportunity to interview the “Queen of QVC” about how entrepreneurship has evolved, mistakes to avoid when pitching investors, and her surprising advice for women entrepreneurs.
Lori Greiner's rise in the digital ageGreiner took advantage of the digital stage early on when she launched “Lori Greiner’s Clever and Unique Creations” on QVC in 2000. “There are so many venues that can play a role in your selling strategy, but in my opinion, there is simply no better selling medium for a new inventor than a shopping channel like QVC,” Greiner told me. “Once you know how to market something out of a certain medium, then it becomes easier to continue marketing other products out of that same medium.”
Using her flair to communicate and present well on air, Greiner leveraged her QVC success into becoming a Shark Tank investor and a mentor and role model for entrepreneurs worldwide.
“The emphasis on entrepreneurship has grown tremendously over the last five years,” says Greiner. “Everybody can relate to having an idea they think could be worth millions, but several years ago people probably never seriously considered that it would be possible to get it off the ground, but now we’re showing that it can happen.”
What makes a great Shark Tank pitch?
Having witnessed hundreds of pitches on Shark Tank and thousands personally, Greiner concisely revealed what constitutes a great pitch. “Be energetic, captivating, honest and informative, but brief. A great pitch is when a person can describe what their business or product is within two sentences,” Greiner advised. “Draw the investors in with enthusiasm and passion. Remember that whoever you’re pitching has spent either little or no time thinking about your product, which you may think is the greatest on the market. Be succinct and to the point, but make it exciting and informative.”
When I asked Greiner if she felt that investing in the entrepreneur was more important than investing in the product, she responded, “I look at both the product being pitched as well as the entrepreneur pitching it, as they are equally important to me. For the product or business, I look for several different things…
“For the entrepreneur, I love to see someone who is energetic, passionate, honest and driven. I want to feel that they will do whatever it takes to make their business a success,” Greiner said.
Click Here to Read the 3 Biggest Pitch Mistakes
Last year, the largest VC deal for a female team was $165 million -- a stark contrast to that for males, which was $3 billion. 98 Percent of VC Funding Goes to Men. Can Women Entrepreneurs Change a Sexist System?
Last year, the largest VC deal for a female team was $165 million -- a stark contrast to that for males, which was $3 billion.
It was January 2017. A 26-year-old Nadia Genevieve Masri made her way up to the second floor office of a venture capital fund in San Francisco. She was there to ask for $500,000.
Masri already had four startups under her belt, and she was raising her first round of VC funding for Perksy, a market research company targeting millennial and Gen-Z audiences. She knew market research was a $45 billion industry and that there was no leading mobile solution -- meaning companies like Pepsi were spending well over $50 million per year without certainty of directly reaching younger generations. Masri’s idea: an app where, in exchange for rewards at companies like Nordstrom, Sephora, Delta and Netflix, users would answer stacks of focused questions from brands on their likes, dislikes and views on current events.
Masri had done the research: She knew her service was unique, that companies would pay for it and that, with the right capital, she could deliver promising results. But the men sitting across the table weren’t sold, telling Masri she was too early -- that they wanted to “see how this goes.”
Self-doubt lingered in the back of Masri’s mind: It’s probably just me. It’s probably just the way I’m communicating this. Nevertheless, she kept plugging away, raising $250,000 in a friends and family funding round, then pitching her idea to Marcy Simon, an angel investor in New York. Simon was the first angel to cut Masri a check, and she helped rally other investors behind the idea -- leading to another $250,000 in funding and Perksy’s January 2018 launch. Within six months, that initial $500,000 in funding brought in $3 million in the pipeline.
Masri still thinks back to those VC rejections and the insecurity that accompanied them, but she has a new outlook now. She says if you’re second-guessing your company, remember the rejection may have nothing to do with your idea itself. Throughout the fundraising process, Masri doesn’t remember meeting with a single female venture capitalist. And even after her company’s seminal success, she still gets eyebrow raises from male investors when she talks about next steps.
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The investors may not be lining up yet, but these women entrepreneurs believe that government support and personal grit will help others in Bihar realise their startup dreams.
Education is the key to a bright future and the Bihar government is going all out with its online facilitation system for students (OFSS), tapping technology to provide a platform that allows students to apply for higher education.
Across the country, people have a tendency to write off Bihar, often pegged as a backward state that is heavily dependent on agriculture. However, the startup wave flowing through the state has shown that people here have ideas, grit, and commitment. Investors may not be lining up just yet, but a few women entrepreneurs are riding the startup wave.
YourStory spoke to five women to understand the challenges unique to Bihar, the support available to them from government and peers, and to learn how they are addressing local challenges and problems, and nurturing their ventures with a vision to scale.
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