Today, technology has smiled upon us by offering tools that are altering our lives in every which way. Simultaneously, it is even giving powers in the hands of common man to fan the flames and ignite their entrepreneurial spirit. As a consequence, rise in founders/ entrepreneurs is the current saga, especially the rise of women founders.
They say the world is an egregious place when it comes to women. In a mannish territory, the fairer sex was always made to believe that it’s the man who will rule the roost, while she takes care of the not so significant stuff.
Well, all this was back then and “one thing about them- Tables, they always turn”. And, in all probability we are seeing blazing fast progress, women are making in this era of technology; so much so that the chasm between men and women is clearly narrowing down.
If you still feel unsure about this claim, consider giving credence to the prominent work Jessica Matthews has shouldered. A Nigerian-American citizen, founder of Uncharted Power has come up with Soccket, a soccer ball that could be used as a power generator. Like this there are umpteen cases.
So ladies, if this world has ever left you in lurch, don’t lose hope, it will also give you plenty of opportune moments to be happy for. These are no words of sympathy or consolation. This is your very own story in today’s world
Women founders- The Rise to Stardom
Time has already come where women are paying back in spades and are returning the compliments. So, the next time you’d switch on the television, you won’t be a surprised to see, Alexa von Tobel, talk about how she raised funds to grow LearnVest, a platform that offers tools to women on financial planning or Sukhvinder Singh Cassidy assisting customers pick their treasured beauty product from Joyus, a video-based e-commerce site.
Of course, there are triumphs and tragedies all through their journeys, yet their vehement voices can’t be muffled for long by the naysayers, and this is why women founders are on the horizon.
Rajan Anandan, Google India managing director and ace angel investor says, "There are enough investors in India who believe that men and women are equal. Now we need many more women entrepreneurs.” He adds by saying, “There are at least 30 women founded or co-founded startups which are category leaders." Mobikwik, second largest mobile wallet in India and Hello English, one of the leading English apps for learning in Asia are few of the examples which fall under this bucket.
Now consider this interesting fact, LetsVenture, Bengaluru based platform for Angel Investing and Startup Fundraising, co-founded by Shanti Mohan has observed 100% growth in women funded startups since last year.
LetsVenture gets upto 600 to 700 ideas in a month out of which 1% get funded. Mohan says, "There are more ideas by women. The market is neither discriminatory nor sympathetic to women founders. Neither are women looking for sympathy nor are they scared of failure. That’s a change. As for investors, they look at whether the idea is worth putting money on."
Clearly, women entrepreneurs are giving wings to their ideas not only in fashion, food, lifestyle but also in big data analytics and other technology fields.
Prukalpa Sankar, co-founder of SocialCorps, Big data startup says, "I’m not discriminated against when looking for business. If your product or service has merit, there will be business and that doesn’t depend on whether you can or cannot go out for a drink with potential customers or investors."
Trials and Tribulations- The Tale of woes
There is no gainsaying that there has been a meteoric rise in women founders across the globe, however challenges do follow through and the ride seem to be bumpy.
The number of women founded companies are dismally small in comparison to ventures started by men. As per the data, only 11% out of 10,000 startups of Nasscom are started by women.
Sadly, an element of prejudice always prevails in the world of investing. And of course, those countless ludicrous scribbles on LinkedIn and WhatsApp notifications to hangout is a harsh reality, women have to deal with.
Along with this, it’s never going to be easy to juggle both home and business. But time and again the resolute ones, raise above these barriers and move beyond these passing clouds without succumbing to them.
One such classic example is Melanie Perkins, Co-founder of Canva. She pitched to 100 investors for her product offering- a graphic design tool called Canva and was told ‘No’ 100 times, yet her sheer perseverance brought life to her idea. Today, her business is valued at $1billion and her company has 10 million users across 179 countries.
30-year-old Perkin says, “Rejection hurts, a lot, but failure was never an option”. She adds, “Every time we were rejected or had tricky questions we’d improve our pitch decks.”
What lies ahead- The Future
Nevertheless, this world is a playground. The game is always fierce. But the good thing about this game in times to come is that the gender is not a bar any longer. Men and women are given equal opportunities.
If there is unjustness in the world, there are traces of fairness and propriety too which is why we have Nirmala Sitharaman as the First Indian Woman Defence Minister and Theresa May serving as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
She says, “Spend every day working on yourself! Growing, learning, practicing self-love and digging into your wounded soul so that you can be more effective as a leader.”
Whether you are in Silicon Valley or in Bengaluru, challenges will be there, but people of excellence go the extra mile to do what’s right. And this bunch make the headlines!
If you liked my post, stay tuned and share your valuable comments/ suggestions. We will have many more to come