This is how the insightful Female Founders session at today’s Women Trailblazers event kicked off, moderated by nitronet’s Senior Director of Community, Heide Palermo. Joining Heide on the virtual stage were three powerhouse female entrepreneurs:
- Jessy Dover, Co-Founder and Creative Director, Dagne Dover
- Whitney Brown, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Meet The Owner, Co-Founder, Consider Something Better
- Alex Friedman, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, LOLA
Although the three women trailblazers offer products across different verticals, they all encountered the same obstacles: lack of funding for female-owned businesses, gender disparity, and tough lessons learned.
“When women founders are given the room to thrive and grow, they in turn create a fruitful environment for others. Everyone reaps the fruit of that labor.” Whitney Brown is the force behind two brands that empower the Black community – Meet the Owner, a digital platform and community created to elevate, protect and preserve the Black culture, and Consider Something Better, a call to action for corporations to fund businesses owned by Black women. Encountering difficulty herself in gathering funding, Whitney said it’s a matter of respect when it comes to providing accessible funding for all.
Alex Friedman encountered different funding issues when she and her co-founder started LOLA, a feminine care brand offering product using only high-quality natural ingredients. “When we first went out there, I don’t think we really knew about the information gap. 90%+ Of investors were men…we had to get really creative with our pitches.” Creative pitches included educational elements such as “Periods 101” decks and bringing tampons to dinner meetings and dipping them in water to demonstrate absorbency. They wanted their investors and partners to understand that the product was founded on the principle of ingredient transparency.
For Jessy Dover, one of the three co-founders behind Dagne Dover, it wasn’t easy to find investors and business partners. “It took us a long time to find people we wanted to partner with and work with over the next 10+ years…whoever you take money from needs to fit your brand and business.” She discussed the lessons learned when first creating the eco-friendly bag brand and what she told herself she would never waiver on when starting this business. “Attitude, positivity, and inclusivity. It can take one negative comment to spoil the vibe in the room. We said at the very beginning that these are the type of people we want to have on our team – this is something that we never waivered on.”
Check out more key takeaways from these savvy female founders below and be sure to check out more Women Trailblazers from today’s event on nitronet.com.
- Don’t just start a business, solve a problem.
- Know and listen to your consumer.
- Get creative with brand execution.
- There is no competition in humanity.
- Make social responsibility your bottom line.
- Be honest with yourself about what you want to do because it can be tough, the “we’re broke and cannot pay ourselves” kind of tough.
- Play the long game and think about your end goal.
- Define what success means to you.