International Women's Day

Recommended resources from our female founder community

International Women's Day

Recommended resources from our female founder community

Words Founders Factory

March 5th 2021 / 5 min read

If men and women participated equally as entrepreneurs, it's predicted that global GDP would rise to 6% which would raise the global economy by $5 trillion. Companies with female founders have also been found to perform 63% better than those of their male peers.

Yet, female founders continue to face many additional hurdles on their path to building a successful business. First of all, there is a woeful (and well-documented) lack of investment into female-focused businesses.

In 2019, women-led businesses received just 2.5% of the total capital invested in venture-backed startups in the US and the picture is worse for Black female entrepreneurs.

While female founders continue to break down barriers, they are up against general bias and prejudice that exists in society, not to mention the difficulties faced with childcare. Clearly, more needs to be done.

At Founders Factory, our efforts to increase our global outreach to find the best female-led companies is evident in our wider diversity commitments, and we now proudly have almost 70 female founders in our global portfolio.

As part of International Women's Day, some of our female founders have generously recommended the resources and good reads that have inspired them the most. Many of these are useful for male founders too!

This list is long, so if you don't have time here's our top 5

Read on for the full list of over 30 recommendations.

Articles or books to read

"This is an article from my favourite entrepreneurship professor, Waverly Deutsch. The most helpful takeaway for me was the objective, data-driven validation of what I'd experienced as a female founder but never had the basis to explain. Ultimately, even if the problem stands, it is useful to know that we're not crazy, we're not alone, and we have advocates and allies."

  • Sequoia’s COVID-19 Matrix, (Notion)

    "A strong scenario tool is key in helping any founder adapt to unpredictable situations, even more so during unprecedented times like a worldwide pandemic."

    Recommended by Marie Chevrier, Founder & CEO Sampler

  • La 25eme heure - Les Secrets de Productivité de 300 Startuppers (link)

    "Unfortunately, I don't think it has been translated but if you understand some French it is really worth it. The book shares tricks from 300 startup founders on how to save time on everything. It's really relevant for multi-tasking women."

    Recommended by Helene Lucien, Co-founder Makezu

"My #1 tip- build a "bro-cus" group! Back when we were first pitching Riviter we found that we simply were not landing with male investors. I recall one debate between a male investor and a female investor where the male investor said, "But how many handbags are there at Nordstrom anyway? 5?" — to which the female investor replied in our defense, "Um, try FIVE THOUSAND." Before our next presentation, we assembled a "bro-cus" group of our male friends, and finally landed on a use case that resonated with them"

 –  Andi Hadisutjipto, Co-founder & CEO Riviter

Podcasts


  • Think fast, talk smart by Stanford Business (gsb.stanford.edu)

    "Great podcast on how to communicate well"

    Recommended by Min Ong, CTO Nate


  • Optimal Living Daily Podcast (Old Podcast)

    "Since becoming a founder, I've enjoyed the Optimal Living Daily Podcast. The podcast has nothing to do with how to scale a business, but it has these wonderful life hacks to make the most of minimal bandwidth."

    Recommended by Nathalie Walton, Co-founder & CEO Expectful


  • Masters of Scale by Reid Hoffman (Masters of Scale)

    "For those days when you need inspiration and reminded why you became an entrepreneur in the first place!"

    Recommended by Dr Hannah Allen, Co-founder Tinto


  • Happy Place by Fearne Cotton (officialfearnecotton.com)

    "For keeping it grounded and self care"

    Recommended by Sara Perkins, Co-founder & CMO Caper



  • "Hey girl" by Alex Elle (Apple Podcasts)

    "Alex Elle gives the mic to great women who share their stories - this gives me breath and helps me feel a part of the world of sisterhood."

    Recommended by Helene Lucien, Co-founder Makezu

"The most powerful resource I've come across as a female founder is the wisdom of other female founders! Women interact differently. Perhaps because we're often focused on woefully underserved markets, we tend to ignore the competition and focus instead on shaping a new space where we can all thrive. My mantra in business interactions with other female founders is 'together, we rise'. So reach out to a female founder you admire. I pretty much guarantee they'll be generous with their time, insight and counsel. And, when someone earlier in their journey contacts you, you'll do exactly the same thing."

 – Rebekah Brown, Founder & CEO MPowder.
Rebekah shares how she launched her meno-tech startup and lessons for fundraising as a female founder here.

Networks and communities

"The community is very supportive and has been great to gather resources to build, launch and grow ventures. Members are mostly VCs, founders and startup operators, so it's also a great place to meet potential investors and future employees"

Recommended by Katharina Sommerkamp, Building a venture in our Studio, currently in Stealth


  • Ada's List (adaslist.co)

    Recommended by Pippa Harman, Co-founder Renude and Sara Perkins, Co-founder & CMO Caper


"We put so much pressure on ourselves as women to present a tough exterior in business but its important to have a safe space where you can be vulnerable and learn." – Kendall Bird, Co-founder & CEO Frame


  • Sie Ventures: a capital platform that supports the most promising female founders on their fundraising journey (sie.ventures)

    Recommended by Saloni Bhojwani, Co-founder of Sei and Venture Associate at Founders Factory

"There is a tendency of women to only promise what they are certain they can 100% deliver. The problem is that we get compared to male founders that often set stretch targets much higher and over-promise in an investor or B2B Sales environment. We should not be shy when it comes to setting targets. If you aim high and only get to 70% that is still a huge achievement so don't undersell yourself and don't always aim for perfection."

 – Julia Brucher, Co-founder & Co-CEO WOVN

Recommendations from our friends at Femstreet

Recommended by Sarah Nöckel, founder of Femstreet and Investment Manager at Northzone

Newsletters

  • Lolita Taub's Newsletter (lolitataub.substack.com)

    "She's an investor advocating for women and generally underrepresented founders (incl. black, latinxs, etc.). She also offers 1:1 coaching (with a focus on building a pitch deck and fundraising), courses and tons of resources (a clean overview of all of them here)"

    Recommended by Katharina Sommerkamp, Building a venture in our Studio, currently in Stealth


  • Femtech Insider (femtechinsider.com)

    "A weekly, woman-led publication on all things related to women's health tech.  Here, progress is celebrated, no matter how early and no matter how small.  It's an inspiring, educational resource, wherever you are in your start-up"

    Recommended by Maya Hardigan, Founder & CEO Mae



  • Not Boring (notboring.email)

    "Really interesting takes on business strategy and product using real world examples"

    Recommended by Min Ong, CTO Nate


As Lucrezia Bisignani (Founder & CEO of Kukua) puts it, "Female founders, never take no for an answer, there's always a way around it."

Female founders, come and join us

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