5 tips for female founders
It’s great to see that more and more people decide to start their own startup in Germany and especially Berlin. However, attending startup events in Germany’s startup capital realization hits you: Female founders are rare. Admittedly, the number of women who start their own company has increased during the past years and that’s clearly the way to go. But there should be many more women who shoot for the moon and turn their plans into actions. As always, starting is the hardest so here are five tips to make the beginning easier.
#1 Use platforms
Platforms such as the National Agency for Women Start-ups Activities and Services (bga) are a good first stop for women interested in founding their own business. They offer a comprehensive overview of advisory services, networks or upcoming projects. Also current news, research results and events can be found there. The aim of the bga - to increase the number of businesses started by women – is sponsored by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research, the Federal Ministry for Family, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth and the Federal Ministry of Economy and Technology.
#2 Find a mentor
Founding your own startup is exiting and fulfilling but also hard work. There will always be bigger or smaller issues you have to deal with. A good mentor by your side is a great help then. Mentoring programs as HVB mentoring program for female startup entrepreneurs and the Geekettes Mentorship program provide intensive support and connect you with experienced entrepreneurs or other business leaders. They will share their learnings with you, give you practical advices and background knowledge. No matter if you have business issues or maybe even personal questions, your mentor will help you to reach your goals.
#3 Build your own network
As a founder, you are your own boss. But that doesn’t mean that you have to do everything on your own. Connect with other people who work in the same field and share your interests. Talk about current challenges, offer your help and ask back for support if you need some. You will see: networking is key to success because everyone can profit from a professional exchange. It will take some time to build your own network but it’s totally worth it.
Foto Credit: Brooke Cagle
Not sure where to start? Here are some networks for women in media and tech industry:
Digital Media Woman The Digital Media Woman works for more visibility of women in the digital industry. Based in Berlin, Hamburg, Cologne, Munich and in the Rhine-Main region.
Geekettes Community of women dedicated to helping aspiring and established female tech innovators
MomPreneurs Network for self-employed moms who want to combine parenthood and business.
Venture Ladies Monthly meetup for women who want to engage in the VC Scene. The Venture Ladies bring together interdisciplinary know-how from female founders, investors, consultants and interested women.
webgrrls e.V. business-network for women who are working with new media.
Women in Digital Network for women who work in Digital
Fempreneur Network Network for Female Entrepreneurs
#4 Get inspired
Reading stories of other women who are successful in what they do can be very motivating. Good to see that there are more and more online magazines that focus on inspiring and helpful content for female entrepreneurs. Websites like fempreneur.de, editionf.com, fielfalt.de or saalzwei.de offer a great variety of interviews, background stories and business news. Take some time and inspire yourself by scrolling through these websites every now and then.
#5 Go to Events
Especially in Berlin and other big cities there are multiple startup events. If chosen wisely, startup events and fairs are a great way to combine at least two of the factors mentioned above: networking and professional inspiration and development. On events like Fempreneur Summit, Women & Work or HerCAREER that focus on female careers and entrepreneurship you can get in touch with potential customers, partners, investors or maybe your future cofounder. Panel discussions, keynotes and workshops offer exiting insights and new knowledge for your business.
Foto Credit: Edu Lauton
Thanks to the author of the text Bitkom Get Started.
Get Started is the start-up initiative of the Digitalverband Bitkom and reaches out to founders, CEOs and employees of startups.