Carefully Crafted on July 08

30 Ways to Support Women Entrepreneurs

The “can women have it all” debate is back, pushed again to the forefront thanks to comments from the Pepsi CEO. The 15th most powerful woman declared that women can’t have it all. (Sidenote: I think the issue needs to be reframed. What is “all?” Define your all and then work toward that, not someone else’s version of a successful life. But, I digress …)

three connections Instead of debating whether women can have it all or not, how about spending our energy on something more useful? Like helping women achieve their entrepreneurship dreams. That way, you can play a part in helping those women achieve their all. And, I’m pretty sure that as women own more businesses, they’ll yield more influence over workplace policies, helping to reshape how we work to better fit the needs of today’s employees instead of the antiquated policies we’re currently following.

With that, here are 30 ways you — yes, you! — can support an aspiring female entrepreneur:

  1. Share your favorite local women-owned business with your Facebook friends.
  2. Take a female founder out to coffee. Ask her what she needs and how you can help.
  3. Send an email introducing a female founder to someone in your network who can help her.
  4. Join Young Female Entrepreneurs for their weekly online networking events (Thursdays on Twitter at 9p ET).
  5. Host a wine night or happy hour at a women-owned/operated restaurant.
  6. Back a female-founded Indiegogo/Kickstarter campaign.
  7. Begin a book club where women can read, share experiences and learn from one another.
  8. Volunteer for a local non-profit that supports and empowers women and girls.
  9. Organize a meetup to connect female founders and aspiring entrepreneurs in your community.
  10. Offer to provide feedback on an aspiring female entrepreneur’s business idea/plan.
  11. Write a note of encouragement to a friend working on her business. (Bonus points if it’s hand-written!)
  12. Offer to mentor a young woman interested in getting into your field.
  13. Commit to buying from only women-owned businesses for one full week.
  14. Create a private Facebook group to help like-minded women support each other.
  15. Volunteer to speak at a local college about career lessons you’ve learned.
  16. Connect three pairs of women on LinkedIn.
  17. “Gift” someone Kiva dollars so they can experience the joy of investing in aspiring entrepreneurs.
  18. Invite a female founder to share her story during a lunch-and-learn in your office.
  19. Invite a female friend to attend Startup Weekend or a similar early-stage startup event with you.
  20. Organize a group outing to screen a movie, see an art exhibit or do a similar culturally-relevant activity (Be sure to build in time to socialize and connect!).
  21. Start a blog club: Each person brings a business-related post, then spend five minutes discussing each over wine.
  22. Even if you don’t technically own your business, think like an entrepreneur and invest in yourself.
  23. Join or start a Lean In Circle in your community.
  24. Ask a female founder to share her biggest challenge, then connect her with someone in your network who can help solve that problem.
  25. Gift an aspiring female founder a one-year subscription to her favorite business magazine.
  26. Invite a female founder to share her expertise on your blog.
  27. Ask three people to connect you with a female founder in their network they think you can help.
  28. Encourage three women in your network to “pay it forward” and support three more.
  29. Make a small donation to a female-focused non-profit on behalf of your daughter, niece or a family friend.
  30. Send a hand-written note to a former mentor telling her how exactly she helped you succeed.

biggest challenge

These tips were shared on theEM.co’s Facebook page. theEM.co is my side project, which focuses on empowering women through entrepreneurship. Learn more or sign up for our enewsletter here.

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