Episode 5: female entrepreneurship

July 6, 2012

I got so many good interviews for this show that I decided to break it into two parts rather than cram everything into a 20 minute podcast. Being a journalist and British, I walk around with a double level of cynicism. So when recently I started reading a bunch of posts, articles and tweets all raving about female entrepreneurship ('you go girl' was the general flavor), I got suspicious. I wanted to get behind the hype and find out what's really going on in the world of women entrepreneurs. In part two (a little further down) I'll have an interview with Amanda Pouchout, co-founder of The Levo League, a startup devoted to ambitious 20-something women. Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg is one of their funders. 

July 11, 2012

Here's part two, or episode six, featuring The Levo League. Who knew job postings were (unintentionally) woman-unfriendly? Tune in to find out more.

For data on entrepreneurship, you might want to visit these sites. The Kauffman Foundation is the largest foundation in the world dedicated to entrepreneursip and has just published a new book, A Rising Tide, about financing strategies for women-owned firms (much more interesting than it sounds). Check out this short 'sketchbook' video featuring one of the authors, Alicia Robb - it's fun and packed with good information. Womenable is a good source too. For the last two years they, along with American Express Open, have brought out a report on the state of female entrepreneurship in the US. Womenable also looks at female entrepreneurship around the world and its effects on economies. Astia helps women grow their firms and hone their leadership skills. It declares on its homepage that it doesn't intend to exist in ten years - it wants and expects its job to be done by then. (Down, inner cynic, down!)

The data on women's entrepreneurship offen differes sligthly depending on who's parsing it and which aspects they're looking at. But at the end of the day, despite all the current enthusiasm and excitement around women going out on their own, the fact remains that women's firms grow very slowly, it's harder for women to raise money, and only 17 percent of participants in Startup Weekend are female. We still have a lot of work to do. The better armed we are with information, the more we can achieve. For more on this and links to other participants in this show, visit The Broad Experience blog.