Thursday November 19 was United Nations Women’s Entrepreneurship Day. According to figures from EY, female entrepreneurs will own thirteen trillion dollars of business by next year. That is expected to rise to eighteen trillion dollars the year after. And that amounts to a substantial contribution to the global economy.
There is a movement growing. Female entrepreneurs are supporting other female entrepreneurs. Jo Burston, CEO of Rare Birds, has a global vision to inspire one million more women entrepreneurs by 2020. She has been challenged to make that ten million.
Closer to home, Melissa Histon, CEO and founder of Sista-Code,
Started Got Ya Back Sista day in June this year and Heidi Alexandra Pollard, CEO UQ Power, runs Leading Ladies, a leadership program for women looking to step up their businesses.
And we are also doing very well in the tech arena. Catherine and Amanda Graham are sister-in-laws on a mission to make it easier for people looking for retirement properties, either for themselves or for their parents. Twelve years ago they were on the search for retirement options for Amanda’s aging father. They stepped on a merry-go-round and couldn’t find the stop button. That’s when they took matters into their own hands and decided to solve the problem by building a website that would connect those searching for properties, to those who had them.
Twelve years on and five iterations later, Seniors Housing Online is the go-to website for anyone needing anything in the retirement space. To be cliché, it’s the ‘Uber’ for senior citizens and their offspring. And there is major interest in the business from some major players.
Three years ago Tina Moore was running a successful business, TMP Dance. Every year, after the end of year concerts that any dancer or dance mum is familiar with, there were costumes that in an instant became collateral. That’s how One Stop Dance Shop was born, the e-bay of the dance world. Tina set out to connect the owners of past costumes with those looking for fresh costume ideas for future performances. And the more the web site develops, the more organisations are tapping into the site and its services, drama groups, belly dancers and school spectaculars for starters.
Last week Kylie Armstrong from Naturally Fertile launched the Fertility Formula, an online program for women who want to conceive and for those having difficulty conceiving. A natural therapy practitioner specialising in fertility, Kylie saw a need to create an easy to follow and easy to implement program that would reach more women than she could see in her clinic. Passionate about preconception care, she wanted to make the program available to as many people as she could reach – both male and female.
Take a deep dive into the purpose of these web-based businesses and you will find pain points that were identified and entrepreneurs that conceptualised solutions. Delve a little further and you will find the theme of connectivity. As Tom Kelley from IDEO saids, our best work happens when we connect technology with our humanity.