By Sarah Platt, Founder and Finance Partner at Firehaus
Even today, female founders and entrepreneurs have more hurdles to jump over on their journey to success than their male counterparts. With less than a third of founders in the UK being women, we are often left without sufficient business-minded role models, mentors, and networks which in turn ensures the default profile of a “successful entrepreneur” continues to be male.
With unconscious biases in the VC industry that leave women entrepreneurs unlikely to get a fair deal when it comes to funding, along with the lack of financial security many women already deal with due to being the primary caregiver at home, it comes as no surprise that only 32.37% of business founders are female.
Although there are clearly still a number of challenges faced by women in business, this doesn’t mean that women should be discouraged from setting high goals and achieving them. As a female business founder, Qualified Chartered accountant and Auditor with experience working with investors, marketers, founders and Boards, here is my advice for the world’s future female founders:
Women support women
Seek out female investors. Research shows that female investors are more likely to invest in female led businesses than their male counterparts. It’s also worth bearing in mind that female founders are also often keen to support other female entrepreneurs by helping them overcome barriers that they themselves have faced (and continue to face) in the industry. You can then pass this on to the future generation of female leaders.
Inspiration can be found in a variety of places. Watch TED talks that address some of the issues women in business face and provide advice on how to counteract some of the bias that exists. I recommend “The real reason Female entrepreneurs get less funding” a TED talk by Dana Kanze of the London Business School. You should also consider joining supportive organisations relevant to your sector, such as Women in Tech UK, that work to amplify the voices of female founders. There are many amazing movements that you can seek out and sign up to.
Get involved and use your voice
Social Media is proving to be a very accessible platform that allows women a voice. We can use social media to raise awareness and network, as well as reach customers and potential investors. Be sure to join panels and share your journey on LinkedIn and other social media platforms. You can also use these platforms to show your support to other female entrepreneurs and become a role model yourself. Get involved and don’t be afraid to use your voice to power some good in the world.
Do it for yourself and do it for future generations
This years’ International Women’s Day theme is #breakthe bias. Use it as motivation and inspiration to be part of the change. Believe you can break down barriers and you will. Access all the support you can get and become a successful female founder, entrepreneur and role model of the future.
Do it for yourself and do it for future generations.