Over the past two decades, the number of women-owned businesses has grown 114% , compared to the 44% national growth rate for all new companies. Even more astounding is the growth in women minority-owned business. In 2018 , Latinx female founders have grown by 172%, while black founders have grown by 164%. While that accomplishment is astounding, men continue to outnumber women in leadership roles across industries. Women and people of color face massive disparities in access to resources, capital and networks.
Women are frustrated, but not deterred.
Woman Led is a nonprofit organization, based in Portland, Oregon, that activates and amplifies women leaders by convening an interconnected community of peers that accelerates learning, growth and impact. Founded in 2016 by female entrepreneurs, Woman Led seeks to improve the lives of women in our community by offering a space where ALL aspiring or current leaders and entrepreneurs receive the support they need to overcome internal and external barriers to success.
Since our launch, Woman Led has piloted three peer mentorship cohorts as an all-volunteer organization. Our groups have had a constant waitlist. We’re proud of what our community has accomplished. But we know the women’s leadership gap persists, and we’re ready to do more about it.
In early 2019, we hired an Executive Director and have spent the last six months laying the groundwork for thoughtful and impactful expansion. First, we talked with leaders in the Portland business ecosystem, in communities of color, and with our own membership base about the challenges women leaders face. Second, we asked ourselves why the myriad business classes, accelerators, incubators and micro-enterprise support programs were not solving the core problem. Finally, we turned to our own lived experiences to discover more about what we knew we needed as female leaders. One key phrase kept coming up again and again: “entrepreneurial mindset.”
Decades of research in entrepreneurship development backed our findings. Building entrepreneurial mindset—known in social cognitive theory as “self-efficacy”—plays an essential role in building the capacity of women leaders. Our own lived experience agrees: we women tend to feel less efficacious than men. And when we feel less confident and capable, we are less likely to pursue (and attain) leadership roles.
So, what’s the answer? We believe facilitated peer mentorship is the boots-on-the-ground solution for aspiring female leaders. It addresses the things women struggle with on the inside, while building their capacity to challenge systemic barriers and create a more equitable world.
What does peer mentorship programming provide for our community’s female business owners and leaders?
Social capital Vetted resource sharing Accountability Technical assistance Emotional support Visibility and voice Community
USE OF FUNDS // GOALS
We want to do more! The money we raise will help us sustain our current operating costs. More importantly, they will help us begin the process of scaling up our programs so we can better serve our community, and beyond. But we don’t want to do it alone. We need community partners like you to stand with us. Research (and life) shows that when women reach their highest potential, everyone benefits.
Ready to enjoy the positive economic and social impacts of more woman-led teams, programs and companies? Ready to be a catalyst for the social change we need to live in a more innovative and sustainable world?
Stand with us. We are….. #WOMANLED
Our goal is to raise $12,000 by July 2nd! What does that look like?
24 people giving $500 48 people giving $250 120 people giving $100 240 people giving $50 480 people giving $25 and/or a collective of humans giving as much or as little as feels right for them. Every little bit helps!
This is a GoFundMe Certified Charity Campaign. Tax-deductible donations made to our GoFundMe campaign will go directly to Woman Led, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that activates and amplifies women leaders by convening an interconnected community of peers that accelerates learning, growth and impact.
For resources, guidance, or more information about becoming a member or community partner, please visit: womanled.org or email email@example.com To apply to become a member or sign up for our newsletter, go to womanled.org .To stay updated on our progress or to learn more about what we do, please follow us on Facebook , Instagram , LinkedIn or Twitter .