8 Ways Organizations Representing Women Entrepreneurs Can Help Them Scale Their Business
I recently had the opportunity to speak to students at the Close School of Entrepreneurship at Drexel University. I was asked to discuss organizations that represent women entrepreneurs and why/how they are important. Naturally, I highlighted the programs and services of the Alliance of Women Entrepreneurs, the mid-Atlantic region’s pre-eminent organization for high-growth women entrepreneurs. I also shared some of my experiences with other entrepreneurial organizations in Philadelphia.
That answered the “who.” Then I focused on the “why.” These organizations are important because they support women entrepreneurs. But what exactly do high-growth women entrepreneurs really need to scale their businesses?
I shared with the class my recent experience observing a roundtable discussion on exactly this topic during a weeklong program presented by WEBos (Women Entrepreneurs Boston). The discussion group was comprised of funders, angel investors, companies, educational institutions, government reps, and organizations that represent women entrepreneurs, all of whom came together to have a candid dialogue and identify actions that could be taken to improve the Boston ecosystem for high-growth, women-led companies.
What did I learn from this discussion? I learned that organizations who want to engage and support women entrepreneurs in scaling their businesses need to consider the following 8 points:
- Focus on Scale Ups Versus Start Ups
- Engage the 50+ women entrepreneurs
- Increasing women funders (VC’s and Angels) will help women entrepreneurs
- Invest in ourselves – Women investing in Women (Astia, Golden Seeds, Springboard)
- Provide Role Models: Looks like me, acts like me, why not me?
- Commercialization – How do we support it? Drive it?
- Men play a significant role – How can we get them more involved?
- How do we build networks and use them?
It’s apparent that the conversation is shifting to how this robust ecosystem can work together to leverage the programs, ideas and resources that currently exist to move women to the next level. How are you planning to get involved in the conversation?