Gender inequality has been a hot topic for years, and though the needle is inching toward the middle of the scale, it’s not moving fast enough — especially for several motivated entrepreneurs sick of waiting for things to catch up.
In recent years, there have been countless successful women-led startups that have been taking their industries by storm. We’ll highlight two of these female entrepreneurs and offer a few tips to help get funding if you start or have your own business.
Landit: One of the biggest issues facing gender equality is the lack of women in high-level positions. In fact, in 2015, there were only 23 female CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, so a woman-focused career platform like Landit makes perfect sense. The brainchild of Lisa Skeete Tatum and Sheila Marcelo, Landit acts like a career playbook that helps women by connecting them with career coaches, pertinent video tutorials and countless other resources. You can visit Landit to see how it can help move your career forward.
ClassPass: This gym booking and payments platform was founded in 2013 by Payal Kadakia and Mary Biggins, and has brought in $84 million dollars to date. This ingenious service provides ClassPass members with unlimited access to hundreds of smaller gyms in more 36 cities on three continents.
Successful businesswomen who set out on their own, do so with a sound and well thought out plan. The following tips will help you craft your plan and a jumpstart on the competition:
- Know your story. A quick, detailed pitch is the best pitch when you’re trying to attract funding to your startup. No matter how interested a person is, they don’t have time to sit through a long, drawn out sales pitch. It’s best to have a one or two line summary of your product or service that conveys your purpose and passion. Having a relevant example of how a customer will use your product or service is also an essential element of your pitch.
- Know your numbers. Be prepared to talk financials. Investors will perceive risk if you aren’t comfortable speaking about their current finances and the financial needs of your business. According to the National Women’s Business Council, this may be the reason male entrepreneurs were three times as likely to get equity financing from angel investors or venture capitalists than their female counterparts.
- Know your advisors. It’s also never a bad idea to have a group of people you can go to for business or financing advice. Add them as early as you can in your startup process, they’ll be a good sounding board for ideas and may serve as references as you look for funding.