Female + Entrepreneurs = Fempreneurs!

Fempreneur Culminating Pitch Competition

Fempreneur Culminating Pitch Competition

For the past two years, Epiic Solutions summer camps have kicked off with Fempreneur, an all-girls program focused on inspiring the next generation of female entrepreneurs. While I’m a fan of every camp we run, I absolutely love this week as we highlight a variety of women-led startups to explore both the awesomeness of being a female entrepreneur and the unique challenges many face as they develop and grow their business. Boston is full of strong women leaders, and Fempreneurs is a great opportunity to connect our teens with the tribe.

Students can’t be what they can’t see. It’s vital for young women to engage with role models and examples of powerful women leaders in business and tech. Throughout the Fempreneur program, teens travel across Boston and Cambridge to hear from diverse female founders about their personal experiences, startups stories, and advice.  Our Fempreneur guest speakers reinforce that women are just as capable as men at starting, building, and scaling successful enterprises.

Here are a few nuggets of wisdom from these conversations:

Build a good team and support network. Finding the right co-founder is crucial because you spend a lot of time together. Think of it as a marriage and make sure you trust each other, will push and encourage one another, and have complementary skills and strengths for a balanced team.
— Hannah and Olivia from CliqBit
Learn the vocabulary. Research shows that many girls lose interest in STEM-careers because they are unfamiliar with the new terminology. Play with STEM-related toys and try out new experiences that introduce concepts, tools and terms.
— Stephanie from Joulez
Be passionate about what you do. It’s important to explore different interest areas when you’re young so you can figure out what sparks your curiosity and fuels your passion. As a founder, you’re going to spend a lot of time (all day, every day) thinking about and working on your idea. Make sure it’s something you love and enjoy.
— Madhavi, Rathi and Li from Droplette
Find internship opportunities. It’s hard to know what you want to be, and the reality is, you will change jobs throughout your life. How will you know what career you want without giving it a test run to see if it’s a good fit? Interning is a great way to explore different career options to find what does, and doesn’t, work for you.
— Kara from WE BOS
Be brave and put yourself out there. Along the startup journey you will need lots of help, especially when it comes to funding. Don’t be afraid to ask others for what you need and put yourself out there. What’s the worst that can happen? They say no. Oh well, I was expecting that so move on and find those that will be a yes.
— Quinn from Flare Jewelry

Our female founders were extremely passionate about their work and loved the excitement (and challenge) of bringing a new idea to life. But, this work isn’t easy and there are a number of obstacles women entrepreneurs face including sexism, difficultly raising funds, and limited role models and colleagues in STEM-fields and tech. Many amazing communities and programs are helping address these issues to empower female founders to overcome these hurdles. Don’t let these challenges stop you and find your tribe of Fempreneurs!

Check out some of our favorite resources for female entrepreneurs:

Girls Who Code: National non-profit organization dedicated to closing the gender gap in technology.

Golden Seeds: One of the nation’s most active early-stage investment firms focused on the vibrant opportunities of women-led businesses.

Science Club for Girls: Fosters excitement, confidence and literacy in STEM for girls from underrepresented communities by providing free, experiential programs and by maximizing meaningful interactions with women mentors in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. 

She Geeks Out: Fostering diversity and inclusion through events, networking and education.

SheStarts: Supports the growing pipeline of women founders in Boston through networking, coaching and events.

Technovation: Invites teams of girls from all over the world to learn and apply the skills needed to solve real-world problems through technology.

WE BOS: Women Entrepreneurs Boston is a City of Boston program that advances Boston’s women entrepreneurs by providing the skills, technical assistance and network they need to launch and grow their business.