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The Women Climbing the Ranks in Start-up Culture

Updated on April 10, 2020

It is not a cakewalk for women to be in the game of business which was once considered to be a men’s club. In an over evolving technology-driven time, women are no longer behind in the race. In fact, they are giving tough competition to their male counterparts.

A study by the Harvard Business Review reported that women are rated higher than men when it comes to leadership competencies — with women leading men in the ranking of taking the initiative and driving for results.

Fortune also summarized a few traits that make women great leaders. They are better than men at empathy; they value reciprocal relationships higher than men do; and they are concerned about cooperation, collaboration, and fairness from an even younger age.

The last few years have shown the determination of female tech entrepreneurs to take leadership roles, founding startups, and developing products and services that are changing the world.

There are several factors that are driving ladies to register their ventures in entrepreneurial ranks and contribute to the market.

The first reason lies in being able to be their own boss, while half of them want to test their own capability.

According to a survey, more than 50% aspiring ladies cites about same business challenges which they face which are unique for female entrepreneurs.

Gender biases, workload, and lack of opportunities for females are some of the challenges.

Financial independence is the need of the hour for women as dynamic situations can demand them to support themselves as well as their near and dear ones. It also erodes the feeling of dependency on women’s minds and builds them to be strong and self-sufficient.

Personal satisfaction is one of the biggest factors for witnessing many women enters the world of business. Once you are content enough from the professional front, you can easily take time for yourself and for your family.

The majority of women cited several gender-specific issues as a key motivator for starting their own ventures. The issues include discrimination, restrictive workplace policies, and childcare challenges.

To stay in the entrepreneurial panorama, many female business owners have opted for the route ‘Networking Groups’ which helps them to cover the target market. More than 80% of females believed their networks played a crucial role in supporting their ladder to success.

The capability of building authentic and healthy professional and personal relationships outweighs the financial capital potential.

Collaborating with people who have similar interests, passion and values not only help in building a strong foundation but enables the venture to taste the higher level of success.

More than 35% of global enterprises are women-owned entities in the formal sector, a market portion worthy enough to gain attention by policymakers and businesses. The young female business entrepreneurs have covered the entire spectrum of micro-businesses to high growth (i.e. right from supporting life to creating wealth.)

The areas where women are progressing at a faster rate than men.

  • Re-investment: Women are investing more than half of the additional income in human resources, families’ education, and health whereas men tend to invest about 35% to 40%. They are doing this even when the market is dynamic and susceptible to change anytime. This means woman’s rising income and assets are driving family, employees, community and nation’s well being.
  • Innovation: Women have changed the concept of innovation and have a high level of innovation in comparison to their male counterparts. Some smart companies keep a watch on this trend.
  • Job Opportunities: Young female business owners are creating lots of job opportunities. As compared to 5 years ago when they were hiring on an average of 1 employee in a venture, it is estimated that in the coming years, their hiring ratio will be 6 to 7 employees.

Entrepreneurial ventures create growth, development, and prosperity and solutions for several social issues. Here are a few examples of women-led startups that are changing the world.

Hopscotch: Teaching kids how to code in a fun way

Founders of Hopscotch
Founders of Hopscotch

Hopscotch is an iPhone and iPad app which is designed for teaching kids to code in a fun and entertaining way. The startup was founded by two women, one is former teacher, Jocelyn Leavitt, and other is engineer, Samantha John.

AdmitSee: Helping students in college and grad school application processes

AdmitSee aims to “bring transparency to the application process of college and grad school” and also helps students, to gain admission to college.

Steph Shyu
Steph Shyu

Steph Shyu is the founder of AdmitSee and she was named one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30. She is a former SAT/AP tutor and founder of an educational charity and also has degrees from Duke, UPenn, and HKU. Steph combined her experience at a news startup with her passion for access to education to build AdmitSee.

WEConnect International: Connecting women-owned enterprises

WEConnect International is a “global network that connects women-owned businesses to qualified buyers around the world.” In Europe, particularly, the non-profit organization aims to certify firms that are at least 51% owned, managed, and controlled by women.

Elizabeth A. Vazquez
Elizabeth A. Vazquez

Elizabeth A. Vazquez is the president, CEO, and co-founder of WEConnect International. She is a social entrepreneur and an active advocate for women empowerment, diversity, and inclusion in the business setting.

Maggie Berry
Maggie Berry

WEConnect International in Europe is led by its executive director, Maggie Berry, who was honored by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader. She was also listed as one of 15 UK-based International Alliance for Women (IAW) World of Difference Award winners.

4D Healthware

A virtual health management platform for providers and patients that gives physicians the power to improve the health of patients with chronic illnesses.

Star Cunningham
Star Cunningham

Star Cunningham is the founder and CEO of 4D Healthware. Before that, she worked in different areas including Internet-access product delivery, system-mitigation efforts, big-data and real-time analysis for large companies, including IBM.

Fetch Robotics

It specializes in on-Demand automation of deploying safe, reliable, and versatile Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) for the warehousing and intralogistics markets in just few hours. As a result of this, there is demonstrable improvements and efficiency and productivity in the commercial and industrial environments — all while working alongside people.

Melonee Wise
Melonee Wise

Melonee Wise is the CEO of Fetch Robotics. Melonee is a recipient of MIT Technology Review’s TR 35 award for technology innovators , and has been named to the Silicon Valley Business Journal’s Women of Influence and 40 under 40 lists.


8 Women-Led Startups That Are Changing the World

© 2020 Niteesh Yadav


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