We are witnessing a renaissance of women-led entrepreneurship. According to Fundera, there has been a 114% increase in women participating in entrepreneurship in the last 20 years. Entrepreneurship allows women to make a bet on themselves and is more accessible than ever thanks to the new working world ecosystem we live in. Despite the overwhelming evidence that more women-founded companies equal better business, there’s still a gap in institutional sources of funding and resources. In the wake of that reality, women are banding together to lift each other up, support each others’ endeavors, and invest in each other.
Rejecting Traditional Roles
In a traditional corporate setting, a woman needs to navigate office politics, her marital status, and the questions and career discrimination of having a baby or working while raising children. While there have been some meaningful advancements, the corporate structure is still resistant to change. Put frankly; the corporate world was not designed for women to succeed. Choosing a path in entrepreneurship allows women to take their fate into their own hands and to bet on themselves.
Why I chose entrepreneurship?
My personal story of entrepreneurship stems from a need I had to grow my career outside of the lines of traditional roles. Entry-level jobs like consulting and banking are fast-tracks to secure and predictable careers. However, in order to secure these positions, it’s necessary to commit to either of these paths early because the competition is fierce. While I was at Carnegie Mellon for undergrad, I majored in Global Studies, was a part of the professional business fraternity, and then declared Pre-Med the spring of my Junior year. But after I finished my Master’s at Duke, where I studied the intersection of theology, medicine, and culture, I didn’t have a clear path forward. While medicine was the ideal path for me in theory, I had so many different interests that I wanted to pursue. I realized that, unfortunately, my heart was somewhere else. I just didn’t know where that was.
Defining my own path
I decided to start my career working in clinical research at Mount Sinai, helping to develop a home-based palliative care program for individuals with chronic illnesses. While I was passionate about the project, I spent my extra time developing other skills like product design and community-building. I realized that there was a huge opportunity to use consumer goods to give people more predictable, positive health outcomes with natural products. While I loved my clinical research job, I knew there was a world where I could combine my background in healthcare with the tangible skills I was learning. That opportunity soon came when I decided to start Bace Health, a hemp company built to close the care gap in cannabis.
Women Supporting Women
When I started Bace, I quickly found that women who have previously been in my shoes are constantly paying it forward. Communities like Dreamers & Doers, the Female Founder Alliance, the Female Founder Collective, Ellevate, We Fund Women, and so many others, create endless opportunities for women by lifting each other up and helping to fill gaps in resources, allies, and funding.
In addition to these networks, the working world is much more flexible than it used to be. Instead of needing to hire expensive agencies, women entrepreneurs have access to fractional work thanks to the digital nomads’ renaissance. This allows entrepreneurs to be more flexible with their budgets and ultimately make better decisions for their businesses.
Lastly, it should be said that women are unbelievably resilient. In the face of numerous obstacles, setbacks, and changes, women pick up our feet and find solutions.
Opportunity for Growth, and Better Business
This gritty resilience is one of the reasons that I believe women entrepreneurs outperform the average company. Recently it was reported that women-founded companies in First Round Capital’s portfolio outperformed companies founded by men by 63%. According to BCG, women-founded companies generate 10% more revenue over 5 years despite not having equal access to capital or funding opportunities.
Year after year, women continue to prove ourselves as more than deserving of having a seat at the table. And at this point, there’s no turning back. I’m more optimistic than ever that women entrepreneurship will continue to flourish in the coming years, despite the potential obstacles put in our way. As Arianna Huffington said, “Fearlessness is not the absence of fear. It’s the mastery of fear. It’s about getting up one more time than we fall down.”
- Finding Passion and Support: the Renaissance of Women Entrepreneurs - October 19, 2020