36% of American businesses are women-owned, and 99.9% of them are considered small businesses. Based on these statistics, there's a very good chance you're a woman who owns a small company.
As a woman (and especially if you're a woman of color), it can be difficult to get your business off the ground. To help you out, here are 4 key tips for networking women.
1. Attend Gender-Specific Events
When you attend conferences geared towards women, you'll find that networking is a lot easier to do, especially if you're in a male-dominated field. When women get together, they tend to band together to support one another.
When you feel comfortable in a space, you tend to feel more confident. This can motivate you to make more connections that you would've had you attended a mixed-gender event.
2. Join Co-Working Spaces
Co-working spaces are great places to link up with other entrepreneurs. Whether they're also struggling in the road to success, or they own hugely profitable companies, you're sure to find a mixed bag of like-minded people.
Mingling with entrepreneurs you meet in co-working spaces serves two purposes:
- You can put your heads together with those who have just started out and help each other bring in business,
- You can get some mentoring from those who are more experienced.
3. Be Assertive
Being assertive can do wonders; not just for yourself, but for your networking efforts as well. When people sense that you know what you want, and you know how to get it, they'll be more open to discussions with you.
People are also at events for the same reason as you: to network. So don't dance around what you're trying to achieve.
Instead, make the most of everyone's time by directing the conversation toward a shared business interest. They'll certainly welcome a mutually beneficial subject.
4. Always Follow Up
You may have spent hours at an event painstakingly gathering information on people you've met. But what's the point of doing so if you don't do anything with that info afterward?
The most important thing about networking is following up. A few days after the conference, you'll want to go through your contacts list and get in touch with everyone.
Make sure to thank them for their time and mention your conversation briefly to remind them of who you are. They'll appreciate the personal touch, and you open the doors to a meaningful and long-lasting relationship.
Becoming a Part of Networking Women to Succeed
When you join the ranks of networking women, you're sure to see your business succeed. While it may not be the ideal thing you want to do with your time, think of networking as an investment.
Every time you attend an event, you're building your web of contacts a little more. In time, you'll have a reliable network of people you can rely on to help grow your business.
If your company needs funding and you'd like to make a pitch to us, apply now!
Are you a woman who works in tech or want to pursue a career in a STEM field? Wish you knew how to meet other passionate, like-minded women in your field, and grow your career? Well, technology conferences are a great way to network, learn more about your industry, and be inspired by other women killing it in your field.
4 Empowering Technology Conferences for Women
Want to go to a tech conference, but not sure which one or what options are even available? In this article, we’re covering 4 amazing women in tech events you should check out. So, you can learn from female entrepreneurs, connect with industry experts, and grow professionally.
Women in Tech Summit
The Women in Tech Summit (WITS) is one of the premier conferences for women working in technology fields. The conference covers a wide range of tech areas, including cybersecurity, project management, software, and even human resources. It’s also held across a variety of states, which makes it accessible for many women to attend.
WITS provides attendees with the chance to hear about new technology trends, learn new skills through hands-on workshops, and connect with other women working in tech. It can also help connect you with potential employers and investors.
Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing
Hosted by the Anita Born Institute, this conference is one of the biggest gatherings of female technologists in the entire world. The conference celebrates the achievements women have made in tech while providing them with opportunities for collaboration and professional development. Like WITS, there are also recruiters from a wide range of companies, if you’re looking for a new role.
The location and speakers for this event changes with each year. Previously, speakers included professors of technology from universities like Harvard and Carnegie Mellon.
Girls in Tech Catalyst Conference
The next great conference on this list is the Girls in Tech Catalyst Conference, an event for women in tech of every race, industry, and level. Held in June 2019 in San Francisco, this conference features women from many backgrounds, from Pixar Animation Studios to the Director of Product Creative Strategy at Netflix.
Beyond speakers, this conference has a variety of events. There are speed informational interviews, design thinking sessions, and networking mixers so you can chat with female leaders from a range of tech sectors.
Global Tech Women Voices Global Conference
With this conference, participants gather virtually and in-person across the globe to discuss the contributions of women in tech. Attendees participate in technical discussions and are able to network with women across the world. And what’s better is that this conference is streamed and recorded, so you can easily access it if you’re unable to attend.
This conference also focuses on finding solutions for the gender gap within technology, and the ways in which women of all ages, races, and backgrounds can be encouraged to participate.
Ready to Get Inspired?
With new technology conferences popping up every year, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t attend one. Not only will you learn new skills and hear from motivational leaders from your industry, but you’ll also be able to make valuable long-lasting connections.
Did you find the information in this article helpful? Check out our blog for advice on everything business!
Black women generate a significant impact on American society. While black women may not always receive adequate credit for their contributions, their influence is undeniable.
If you’re looking for ways to expand your horizons past corporate life, you may want to consider becoming an angel investor. Investing in inspired ideas can mean helping to recognize the work of other talented women of color.
Read on to learn more about why black female investors are so crucial to the startup ecosystem and why investing might be a good choice for you.
1. Recognizing the Contributions of Black Women
Black women are an under-represented community. While their contributions may be significant, the recognition they receive for their work is often non-existent. If you’re an investor and a woman of color, you have a unique set of attributes that can help you make better business decisions AND create your legacy.
2. You Have a Lot to Share
The experiences you encountered on your journey are likely to hold insight for other women in business. Sharing your knowledge, expertise, and insight can help you help others.
Women of color often experience more challenges than other demographics when entering the marketplace. Sharing your strength can help the business owners of tomorrow make their impression on the ecosystem.
Women, especially women of color, have long been denied access to the same opportunities as men. With the rise of women in business, it’s important that we turn back to offer a hand to the young women following in our footsteps.
3. Building Your Legacy
By providing opportunities for your fellow (wo)man, you aren’t just making returns. You’re creating a legacy.
Success is building a community and pushing progress forward. A community leader with a successful track record in business is an asset to her community and her gender.
4. You’re Better Equipped
Need another reason why America needs more women of color investors? They’re better at it.
A recent study by Fidelity Investments showed a startling statistic. Women proved to be better equipped and more successful at turning a profit on investments than their male counterparts.
Women tend to play the market better and know when to get out. Because women often opt for less risky investments, they’re more likely to have more to show for it in the end. This idea holds even though only 9% believed that they would be better at investing than men.
Black Female Investors: Ready for the Forbes List
Investing in companies or startups that you believe could be the next big thing is your best shot at helping the most people possible. The returns you see from your investments can be used to further your ambitions and those of others.
Want to learn more about how you can get in touch with other female business leaders? Visit our website for more.
Your vision board is up, and it's filled with some of your loftiest business dreams and goals as a woman in 2019. The question is, how exactly can you turn those dream ideas into real, winning ones?
Research shows that only 8% of people end up achieving their goals.
That's right - eight percent.
The truth is, a vision is nothing but a dream that's lacking feet. So, if you're serious about turning 2019 into a successful year of dreams fulfilled, not dreams deferred now is a great time to tap into the advice of Brooklyn Congresswoman Yvette Clarke.
Here are a few words of wisdom for female entrepreneurs from Congresswoman Yvette Clarke, which she shared at a recent annual Success Supper. The point of the dinner is to celebrate and recognize women who exude grace, demonstrate fortitude and positively impact their communities.
Let's get started!
1. Congresswoman Yvette Clarke: "Stay focused enough [on your] own goals and aspirations."
Keep your eyes on the prize -- on your unique aspirations and goals.
The truth is, it's easy to get sidetracked if you're always listening to other people's external voices instead of your inner voice. You know what you want, better than anyone else. So allow that to be your guiding light when you get out of bed each morning.
2. "It’s important for us to stay true to ourselves. Not everyone is going to be out here [protesting] in the street, but some folk may fund the movement. Not everyone is going to be the person who is going to be out front, but every leader is building an organization of support.”
One of the biggest mistakes that people make is not staying true to themselves.
For example, when it comes to tackling political issues, not everybody will be comfortable with protesting on the street. However, those who don't want to protest can still fund the movement at hand.
It's okay if you're not the type of person who enjoys being out front. The most important thing is that you're active, fighting for what you believe in. And that's true in both the political world and the business world.
Also, build a strong organization of supporters. They'll give you the fuel you need to keep pressing on toward your goal.
3. “Always trust in yourself and your abilities. Be self-aware, because understanding yourself helps you to improve your leadership.”
One of the biggest challenges that people have is believing in themselves.
However, never doubt your abilities. The more you understand yourself and what you're capable of, the better you'll be as an entrepreneur and leader.
4. “We’re not using our influence. Were very influential. As a matter of fact, there is not a popular trend that’s been started that we have not been at the heart of.”
A major mistake that aspiring entrepreneurs make is not using their influence.
Believe it or not, you are very influential. So, use your platform for good. The more you realize how influential you are, the more driven you'll be to achieve your big-picture dream.
5. “It’s about the circles you’re in, your network. We have to ask ourselves, who is in our network? The challenge for our community is not one of worth; it’s one of trust. Because we’re spending money every day how much of those dollars do you spend with black entrepreneurs?”
If you're going around in circles as a new entrepreneur, perhaps you should check who all is in your circle.
Can you trust everybody in your network?
Be sure to surround yourself with people who will make your journey to the finish line easier, not harder. And remember, not everyone you come across in your life -- whether in the business setting or even in your own family -- deserves a seat at the table.
How We Can Help
In addition to providing encouraging words from influential leaders like Congresswoman Yvette Clarke, we partner with leading foundations, organizations, venture funds and incubators in the United States to support today's women, black and brown startup founders.
If you've got talent, we're passionate about helping you to gain access to the financial capital, knowledge capital and social capital you need.
Contact us to find out more about how we can help you to realize your business dream in 2019.
Did you know that only 20% of C-suite leaders are women? Of that 20%, fewer than one in 30 is a woman of color. Does that mean that an aspiring businesswoman has little chance for upward movement? Hardly! The truth is that there are many hard-working, successful women in business. Are you ready to be one of them? In this post, we'll give you some insight into behaviors that successful women in business avoid.
1. Own Your Role as an Entrepreneur
If you want to be successful in business, the first step is to own your role in that business. Avoid becoming your own worst enemy by buying into negative stereotypes around gender or heritage. You are a woman - but first and foremost, you are a capable and professional entrepreneur. Remember, the only person who can limit you is yourself. Be bold, get out there, and do everything you can to make your business a success. Leave any doubts behind and genuinely believe in your abilities. Success will follow.
2. Don't Be Afraid to Outsource
A robust network of professional relationships is essential to upward mobility and future success. This is especially true when the time comes to scale up your business venture. Your natural inclination may be to try to do everything yourself. Or you may acknowledge you need more employees with a certain skill set, but it may not be in the budget to hire anyone else right now.
In this case, your best bet is to bring in freelancers. Whether it's redesigning your logo or upgrading your website, seek the help of an expert on the outside. Outsourcing is a terrific way to ensure the job gets done without the need to hire long-term staff.
3. Never Stop Learning
No matter how long you've been in business, you'll eventually encounter something you don't know.
Whether it's keeping up with the latest tax laws or revamping a marketing plan, successful women know when to ask for help. This is the perfect time to reach out to a trusted mentor who can help you navigate the next phase of your business growth.
You'll also feel empowered by keeping up with the latest trends in business and your industry. Sign up for business classes at a nearby college or attend a networking session with other local entrepreneurs.
4. Don't Forget to Delegate
A final mistake many women make, both personally and professionally, is taking too much on themselves.
The most successful women in business understand their physical, mental, and emotional limitations. They know how much they can realistically take on without disrupting their work-life balance.
If you want to emulate them, learn when to delegate certain tasks to capable employees. Not only does this speed up your business endeavors, but it also empowers the people you work with.
It's a win-win situation.
Successful Women in Business: Final Thoughts
Women in business have every reason to feel confident in themselves and their abilities. It's all about getting into the right mindset and surrounding yourself with successful, like-minded people.
Remember these four points the next time you're in the workplace, and your professional advancement will follow suit.
Interested in more professional advice for the workplace? Click here for our recent post about how to successfully pitch to investors.
While the number of female-owned businesses rose 58% from 2007 to 2017, the number of black women entrepreneurs rose by a stunning 164%.
Even though black women are gaining momentum in the business sphere, they still face several complications and challenges along the way.
Let's get into the challenges (and the solutions) for women of color.
Lack of Representation
For a long time, women entrepreneurs were the lone breed in business meetings. Today, while women have made strides in the boardroom, there is still has a long way for the representation of African American women in positions of leadership.
This situation can create inherent biases and discrimination within the workforce. Black women repeatedly report incidents of needing to prove their qualifications, worth, and ambition to potential colleagues and customers.
This is why networking and connecting with other women of power is so important. It's essential that you feel supported in your business endeavors.
Lack of Mentorship
Mentorship has a longstanding role in the success of early entrepreneurship. Strong mentorship provides an invaluable opportunity to learn from someone who has experienced similar obstacles and hurdles in their professional path.
With that said, there tends to be a lack of mentorship opportunities for black women entrepreneurs who understand the unique challenges associated with being both female and a person of color.
To find a mentor, you may have to put in the legwork. This means attending volunteer events, scoping out various university scenes, and checking with your local chamber of commerce.
Lack of Monetary Funding or Capital
Women, in general, tend to receive smaller loans across the board- regardless of the product or service.
Minority women often face even greater hardships, and the chance to qualify for traditional sources of funding may be incredibly limited.
Fortunately, there are several small business grant opportunities and angel investors eager to help and support women and minorities fund their business dreams. Crowdfunding also remains a popular option for individuals who want to attract a large pool of investors very quickly.
Lack of Work-Life Balance
While both men and women face work-life balance struggles, women tend to feel even more pressure due to collective societal and cultural norms. Juggling family life, social relationships, work, and daily tasks and errands can feel like a never-ending mission.
With that said, creating a work-life balance is essential. Black women entrepreneurs need to be comfortable delegating and outsourcing tasks when possible. You must know how to set limits and boundaries with your time and with other people.
Finally, you can't expect the balance to be perfect! There is no ideal way to manage all the elements of your life. If you strive for 'good enough,' you'll be well on your way towards positive mental health.
Final Thoughts On The Challenges Black Women Entrepreneurs Face
Starting a business is never easy. It requires dedication, persistence, and timeless grit. Black women entrepreneurs face those struggles- in addition to potential racism, discrimination, and financial hardships.
With that said, times are changing, and opportunities are emerging. As business continues to evolve, we anticipate that the societal approach on who is running these businesses will, too.