Is Innovation to Invent or Improve? Ask female entrepreneurs….

The concept of innovation in business has slowly come to be defined as the ‘next big thing’ out of Silicon Valley rather than in using technology to improve categories. More often than not, it’s an industry that also excludes female entrepreneurs.

By definition an entrepreneur is ‘a person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risks in order to do so.’ And unfortunately, according to Google, it also appears to mean: a man.

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In addition to often sitting outside of what society deems an ‘entrepreneur’ overall, female business owners are often reticent to consider themselves ‘tech entrepreneurs.’ And this is even if women use technology to grow their business. This notion is backed up in last Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) – a worthwhile read regarding entrepreneurship globally.

So this brings us to the topic of ‘invention’ vs. ‘improvement.’ We often come across women who have an idea that is a vertically-driven advancement but question if it warrants investment.  And the answer is that it’s imperative. We need to advance ideas which focus on growing and making more accessible, traditional vertical categories.

Here are a few examples of women we’ve read about recently. These profiles only scratch the surface.

Female Entrepreneurs Improving Categories and Processes

FIGS

Started by Heather Hasson and Trina Spears, FIGS is a direct-to-consumer line medical scrubs. Tackling an industry reported to be worth $50 billion worldwide, the two decided to introduce more comfortable, functional and fashionable scrubs. They saw it as a missed opportunity. And, guess what, they were right. FIGS is now reportably worn by one in 10 medical professionals in the United States. Read more of the inspiring FIGS story here.

IMMIGO

Maneesha Mukhi spent over a decade navigating the immigration system in the United States. As a child of an Indian diplomat, Maneesha travelled extensively settling in the US to attend college. From there she was on a half dozen different visas, finally securing her greencard and now waiting to become a citizen. The conversation around immigration often overlooks how we relay on immigrants to help us innovate and grow as a country. Even in the best of circumstances it’s a difficult system to navigate. This is where ImmiGo comes in to provide access to a list of qualified lawyers to support. Read more here.

KABBAGE

Kabbage is a automated lending platform focused on a category of small business often overlooked by lenders.  As a result, .Kabbage is now a bonafide ‘unicorn’. And no surprise their female founder has broken the mold in other ways as well. Kathryn Petralia studied English, not finance or engineering and has located the business Atlanta.. Her smarts and commitment have landed her on Forbes list of 100 most powerful women. More about the Kabbage story here.

So the next time you ask yourself whether the business you believe in is a ground-breaker and worth sinking your teeth into, give us a call and we’ll remind you that the world is counting on you giving it a try.

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