Women entrepreneurs share a list of people crucial to a good network.
Entrepreneurship is not just about an idea, a vision, and the commitment to see through the idea, but also about having an appetite for challenges on a day-to-day basis. It is about the ability to connect with people and build a huge network that can be leveraged for support, advice, mentorship, marketing, and a whole lot of other things.
Almost 80 percent of working professionals consider networking crucial for success, according to a new LinkedIn global survey result. When it comes to entrepreneurs, one has to walk that extra mile to build a network that is crucial for success.
“A well-rounded network is key for a woman entrepreneur to have in her support system,” says Shikha Uberoi, Co-founder of Indi.com and former tennis player who won India a silver medal at the 2006 Asian Games. She adds it helps in generating reach, engagement and revenue for brands.
We spoke to a few women entrepreneurs to find out how to build a well-rounded network, and who to include in this network for this helps women have an understanding of what events to attend, and who to interact with to build a strong network for themselves.
Wise women with age are invigorating because they constantly remind you to keep perspective. The wrinkles on their faces alone speak volumes, and should be understood with respect. Also, being around older women reminds you to fight the good fight because we women are standing on their shoulders. Reminding yourself that you haven't paved the road alone is very humbling,
is Shikha’s advice. It is good to have a tribe of women that you can not only learn from, but also bank on to give you well-timed advice. Whether it is on Facebook, or WhatsApp, or any other social media channel, it is essential for women to be part of women networks and groups.
These groups are as much about taking as giving, so remember it is a two-way street and you are expected to give as much as you take.
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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.
Rent the Runway is arguably one of the most successful startups we have seen emerge in the last decade (it started in 2009.) After all, it solved multiple problems. The first one it fixed was that young women have limited funds to spend on their wardrobe and at a time when they are making appearances at high stake opportunity events both in their career and social lives.
When social media exploded and became an outfit killer once your outfit was seen on multiple platforms, it let you never repeat an outfit again with the launch of Rent the Runway Unlimited. And, for anyone that doesn’t have a closet like Cher from Clueless (so the majority of us), this expanded our closet infinitely without having to build an addition on our homes.
With Americans experiencing “wardrobe panic” 36 times a year, an infinite closet is pretty darn smart. That is why this past February the company received $21 million from Blue Pool Capital, which is run by Alibaba founders Jack Ma and Joe Tsai, bringing the company’s total venture funding to nearly $210 million, (they just had a $20 million investment), according to ReCode.
No network, many problems
Cofounders Jennifer Hyman and Jennifer Fleiss are now household names and startup legends but when they first launched their company, now dubbed “the Netflix of fashion,” fresh out of Harvard Business School they felt a bit lost as they didn’t really have that absolutely essential network of people you need for your career to succeed.
“At the beginning we had nothing! We had Jenny and I, who had limited work experience to start out, and there was really no entrepreneurial community in New York at the time. Every single question that came up we just had to figure out on our own, which we did but it just took us longer than it probably need to,” Fleiss told Ladders recently.