Tonight, I was grateful to be a guest at the Diversity & Inclusion at Bloomberg movie screening of the documentary “She Started It.” The event coordinator introduced the movie by stating the movie’s creators wanted to reach one million girls. Honestly, it’s a worthy goal that needs to be met!
The documentary followed 5 young, female entrepreneurs through their journeys. Some successes, some failures. But as one of the entrepreneurs states in the documentary, “You’re not failing if you’re learning something from it.”- Stacey Ferreira, founder of MySocialCloud and AdMoar and co-author of 2 Billion Under 20: How Millennials Are Breaking Down Age Barriers & Changing the World.
The whole film focuses on the importance of representation in a male dominated field. When you see the media’s representation of successful start-ups, you see 20-year-old, white dudes in hoodies. If you are even a little bit girly and wear make-up or mini-skirts, “you aren’t allowed to make mistakes because you’ll be labelled quickly.” – Agathe Molinar, Founder of Lemon Curve.
Often times investors want to invest in themselves. They feel like, “this guy reminds me of me” and I was successful so, therefore, they will be successful and they invest. But there aren’t enough female investors so it’s a lot harder for women to make the same connections. The film quoted only 15 female CEO’s in the Fortune 500 companies.
Brienne Ghafourifar, founder of Entefy, described her start-up as Swiss cheese. “There are some holes in our company right now, but we are working hard on becoming cheddar.”
I feel like that’s what the entire tech industry is right now. It’s Swiss cheese and we are advocating every day to diversify so that it can become cheddar.
Another entrepreneur named Thuy Truong was my personal favorite story. She worked so hard to launch her company GreenGar, but struggled every step of the way. She went to competition after competition and made phone calls and emails relentlessly. She gave it everything she had, but her company failed nonetheless.
That did not stop her.
She has started a new company named Tappy. Through that company, she has had her struggles and failures as well, but nothing has stopped her.
“If Plan A, Plan B, and Plan C doesn’t work, there are 23 other characters in the alphabet.” – Thuy Truong, founder of GreenGar and Tappy
With GreenGar, it took her over a year to raise $70,000. With her experience from the first company and the connections that she made along the way, she was able to raise $150,000 in just ten days for her new company.
All of the women in the documentary had different paths. None of them were easy. But each offered great lessons and advice for other young female entrepreneurs. If you have not seen “She Started It”, I highly recommend you check it out!