“we need to create a pipeline of female founded companies that are well built and investor ready…”
A great conversation with Fernanda about how to set female founders up for success and create a system that works for them too. We discuss the challenges women founders face and how to create a system that is designed for them as opposed to them having to ‘fit into the male-designed programme’ to be successful.
How can we create a pipeline of well-built female companies ? How can we provide a systemic lens through which to educate women about their options, build strong foundations, attract investment, offer guidance and open doors where necessary ?
We particularly discuss how to look at the architecture of the problem rather than trying to reinvent the wheel and perpetuate inequities and inefficiencies in the ecosystem. The virtual environment is positive for women in this respect and offers a window to fix the problems of the past and embrace the (entrepreneurial) revolution – the younger female generation of digital natives thinks differently.
Fernanda shares her quest and what she has already built at We Global studios to offer female founders a clear path for success, the right mindset, the right partners and the right support.
The main insights you will get from this episode are :
– Set up in response to inequities and inefficiencies in the startup ecosystem – there is lots of help for finance but none to build a business (beyond short-term incubator or accelerator programmes), and it is difficult for women to access this help.
– Wanted to provide something for women other than having to ‘fit into the male-designed programme’ to be successful – to offer them a clear path for success, understand how IP is created and look at the architecture of the problem rather than reinventing the wheel.
– The aim is to create a pipeline of well-built female companies and to focus on revenue generation in order for women to be able to exit with wealth to pay back to society.
– Five pillars: building founder DNA; business strategy and legal; product (or service) development; sales and marketing; operations and scaling. These pillars include many subcategories and social impact is also a priority.
– The company provides a systemic lens through which to educate women about their options, build strong foundations, attract investment, and offer guidance.
– It also sets great store by lessons learned in life and how experiences inform what we do – working horizontally gives kernels of knowledge from completely separate industries that all share the same principles.
– The company’s tactical and dedicated advisers are the ‘stars’ and make the company unique – to be effective, WE Global requires a large number of ‘friends’ (such as brand ambassadors and volunteers) and a big network to increase accountability and success.
– Alongside the community of advisers, WE Global offers domain experts, a technology council, a marketing council, one-to-one relationships with advisers as well as opportunities for one-to-many relationships.
– Particular challenges for female founders are a mindset issue: they are too nice, need more permission and lack entitlement compared to their male counterparts – women must be assertive and speak the language of business – accounting – given that investors invest purely in a financial instrument, not in a particular company, product or service.
– The WE Global annual ‘rev up’ summit aims to help on the revenue front by imparting the right language to demonstrate insider or outsider positioning – success requires being an insider and understanding the levers that open up further doors.
– The virtual environment is positive for women and offers a window to fix the problems of the past and embrace the (entrepreneurial) revolution – the younger female generation of digital natives thinks differently.
– We must create systems that tell women, ‘you can do that’ – ones that women can simply step into without wasting time and money; WE Global will make introductions to take founders through the various stages and partners with universities as a bridge with private sector.
– Founders need enterprise partners and people to open doors and offer access – they are the stars of tomorrow. Female founders should be gracing the covers of magazines showcasing women doing incredible things for the planet with self-worth based on what you are doing to change the world.
– CTA for female founders: assess what exactly you are creating, identify a clear focus, eradicate all negative thinking, truly believe your past is your past and has no bearing on your future – believe in your vision.