Happy International Women’s Day! As a brand that was both co-founded by a woman and has a predominantly female team, we have firsthand knowledge of the unique strengths and abilities women bring to the business world—and beyond. For that reason (and so many more!), we jumped at the chance to join the Female Founder Collective and help support their mission to “enable and empower female owned and led businesses to positively impact our communities, both socially and economically.” We talked to Rebecca Minkoff; Creator of Female Founder Collective and Co-founder/Creative Director of Rebecca Minkoff, to find out more about the initiative and what we can all do to support women entrepreneurs around the world.
Tell us about the Female Founder Collective. What inspired its creation?
I had been in a meeting with a company that hosts thousands of companies all over the world. There was no way to identify the female-founded companies, and as a colleague and I were leaving the meeting, we said, “Wouldn’t it be easy to just use a symbol?” and then I was like, “Wait—we should come up with a symbol because no one else has done it.” It would be easily identifiable. You’d know that you’re giving your money to another female-founded company or female-run company. Enabling and empowering female-owned and led companies is a passion for me. I truly believe supporting other women benefits us all. And it’s the reason I started the Female Founder Collective
What are the short and long-term goals of the Female Founder Collective?
The initial goal is getting the symbol widely known and recognized, get it in use, so that people begin to recognize and identify the symbol. We wanted to issue a symbol and allow more women to know what companies they can support in order to support each other.
We recently partnered with Visa and the She’s Next initiative. By joining forces with Visa, we will help build awareness of women-owned businesses, provide them with more opportunities and invest in women across the socioeconomic spectrum around the globe From streamlining payment methods to linking women small business owners with like-minded peers and experts, Visa and FFC will together offer unmatched resources and opportunities for female entrepreneurs.
What is a lesser-known benefit of supporting female-owned businesses?
Millennial consumers buy from brands whose purpose and values they support and identify with. By creating a socially visible symbol for female-owned companies, we effectively shape modern consumers’ purchasing decisions. By attracting more of the millennial audience who identify with and want to actively support female entrepreneurship, we provide female founders with a sustainable market growth strategy.
From our purchasing decisions as consumers to the leadership and employment opportunities we offer as business owners, women are an incredible and undeniable force.
What is one thing people can do right now to support the Female Founder Collective?
Everyone can affect change even if it only reaches as far as one’s own circle of friends. If we each start to speak to our friends about other female founders, the hope is that we can activate them to purchase from these brands and continue to spread the word to bigger circles.
The network of female founded, and women owned businesses must work together to build tight and loyal bonds. As female founders, we’re already in a minority, so we’ll be more prominent and more powerful if we’re in it together
How can women support other women in their own workplaces?
We need to promote an environment of working together rather than competing against one another. Real change can happen in the world when women work together on behalf of all women
We’re better together; we’re greater when we’re all helping each other.