Updated: Oct 6
Women's small business month takes place every year in October, and is a time to recognize the many achievements that female entrepreneurs have accomplished in our country.
In fact, according to Motley Fool, women owned businesses employ 9.4 million people and women own 42% of all companies in the U.S. Part-time female entrepreneurs or sidepreneurs increased by 39% between 2014 and 2019, suggesting that a growing number of women see part-time entrepreneurship as a way to pay bills, build wealth, or follow a passion.
And during 2020, women were 2x more likely to start a business than men in a year where new business applications reached an all time high of 4.35 million according to Census.gov. This was driven in part by the Great Resignation where over 2 million women left the labor force due to the pandemic.
While those numbers are encouraging, data from Cruchbase still show that women only received ~2 percent of venture funding in 2021. That's a lower share than any of the previous five calendar years! And even more startling is the fact that Black female startup founders received just .34 percent of the total VC pie proving that women (and in particular in women of color) still have a long way to go.
So in honor of women's small business month, here's a few of my favorite female founded companies:
Ellevest- is a financial planning and online community of women with a mission to get more money in the hands of women. Their founder, Sallie Crawcheck is a former Wall Street executive who started the company in 2014 after recognizing a need for more financial education and targeted financial planning for women specifically. Read more about the state of women's financial wellness in 2022 produced by them and found here. Some of their key findings include that 59% of women stress about money at least once a week and 53% of women are looking for a new job with the goal of increasing their salary.
Modern Health- founded in 2017 by Alison Watson, they are a differentiated mental health tech benefits platform that is sold to companies of all sizes. With almost 50% of the workforce reporting they feel burned out, it's more important that ever for employers to be re-evaluating their mental health and wellness benefits offerings. They are a series D stage company, and tout large clients such as Pixar, Clifbar, and EA (among others).
The Mom Project- I love everything about the mission of The Mom project to empower mothers to get back to work on their own terms. They partner with companies that offer part time and flexible work schedules to help accommodate working mothers. You can upload your resume directly to the platform indicating what kind of industry you are interested in, and hours you want to work, and they will match you with job options. They also offer resume/career services and interesting workshops.
Chief - The company was founded in 2019 and advertises themselves as a private network of women for the most powerful women in leadership. Their mission is to drive more women to the top, and keep them there. Founded by Carolyn Childers and Lindsay Kaplan, they have more than 10,000 paid members and they just expanded to the UK. They've raised $140 million in funding so far and just closed their Series B round in 2022.
Mindful Mamas- Full disclosure, I am an advisor to this one, but can't help but write about this amazing company founded by Terra LaRock who I met virtually during the pandemic and who I'm now lucky enough to call a friend. Terra is on a mission to change maternal mental health care after experiencing postpartum depression/anxiety and suicidal thoughts after the birth of her 2nd child. Her story can be found here. If you are mother I highly recommend downloading this mediation and mindfulness app and giving it a try. I love their sleep stories and you can customize their content depending on the age of your children.
Claire- and online paint store that uses AI to help you narrow down your paint choices was founded in July 2018 by Nicole Gibbons a former interior designer and black female entrepreneur. She is one of the .34 percent women of color hat has raised VC funding and recently completed their Series A round backed by Pendulum. I've used their paint services personally and after answering a series of questions about your style and what room you are looking paint they narrow down your paint choices and then ship you swatches to stick to your wall. From there you can order the paint color directly from them without ever having to step into a paint store or home depot again.
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