By Margot Kemps, Program Manager, Impact Hub
“Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, it is a brilliant opportunity to learn and get others involved at the same time.” – Nichon Glerum, Founder of The Clothing Loop
Lots of work continues to be needed, to make the entrepreneurial ecosystem more inclusive for women. Despite the high proportion (over 60%) of women among higher educated graduates, women remain underrepresented in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Held back by the many hurdles they have to overcome. Women are found to be less likely to seek and receive funding, are less embedded in the regional networks, and participate less in local incubator and accelerator programmes.
Does this mean there is nothing to celebrate? Definitely not! There are already millions of inspiring women out there, pursuing their entrepreneurial dreams. Their stories deserve to be told.
In 2022 WeRin project partners, Impact Hub Amsterdam had the pleasure to work with more than 40 inspiring women entrepreneurs in their dedicated incubation and acceleration programmes. These women turned their vision into a reality. From Mérida Miller with Project Fearless, in which she creates after-school programs for young girls and non-binary youth, to Emy Bensdorp, Founder of Claybens, removing toxic PFAS chemicals from our environment through ceramics. These women show the existence of endless possibilities. Here Impact Hub present the first edition of the Female Entrepreneurship Empowerment booklet, sharing stories and experiences with you through interviews. Find it here.
The booklet showcases some of their collective efforts as female leaders and role models, for future generations to come. Highlighting the positive impact that entrepreneurs can produce. As Swathi Suman, Founder of TechniFris Agro Solutions tells us: “Having my own start-up makes sure that I see exactly what the final impact of my work is. It gives more purpose to my work, my heart is fully in it, and I am constantly challenged and levelling up.” She and twelve other women share their advice, what motivates them, and explain how to own and express your entrepreneurship.
To all the female entrepreneurs out there, don’t forget to take on board this piece of advice from Lori Goff, Founder of Outlander Materials: “Embrace the Suck: the entrepreneur’s life is hard. It’s thrilling, interesting, romantic, and filled with passion and purpose. But it’s always difficult. If you can not only accept but embrace that it’s going to be like this, your whole perspective can shift, you’re ready for whatever comes your way, and you start to have a lot of fun with it this way.”
Take a look here and get inspired!