Finding Support from Women Entrepreneurs

 

Sometimes, I don’t exactly know what I think until I read what I’ve said or written in someone else’s media.  Such is the case with this interview with TheNextWomen, the London-based media startup that bills itself as the “business magazine for female Internet heroes.”

The site describes itself as. . .

the first Women’s Internet Business Magazine, with a focus on startups and growing businesses, led, founded or invested in by women. We bring news on business, events, funding and tech from a female angle and interview and profile Female Business Heroes, make them notable and quotable.

We are the female Business Week, the female Techcrunch and the business Red.

We [are] compiling a database on female founders, CxO’s and VC’s of internet companies.

Among the site’s heroes (thank, you, God, that they haven’t reclaimed that horrific feminist label “sheroes”) are women as diverse as Esther Dyson, Catherine Fake, Arianna Huffington, and Queen Elizabeth.

But enough about them. . . this was an interview with me.  Site founder Simone Brummelhuis’s questions were wide ranging, but the one that jumped out, asked what European women entrepreneurs can learn from their U.S. counterparts.

My simple-to-say-but-apparently-complex-to-do answer:

There are still far too few women who take the path of technology entrepreneur. No doubt there are many subtle and obvious reasons for that path.

I think at base, though, the best thing women entrepreneurs can do for each other is to challenge them to perform at exceptionally high standards, to create businesses with meaning and impact.

If women drive women to be the best entrepreneurs they can be, supporting their unique talents and limitations, then I do think we’ll see more women choose the path of startup CEO.

The fact is that women entrepreneurs do support other women entrepreneurs.  And we need to because frankly we often don’t get the kind of support we need from women who are outside the startup world and don’t understand the life choices that entrepreneurship requires.

Building a business is hard work (for women and men) and there is really no “balancing” of work and personal life in the earliest days of a company.  We need strong support systems: of other entrepreneurs, of family members, of our friends, and of communities both inside and outside the startup world.

Which reminds me: Thank you, Nancy, Mom, and all those friends I don’t see often enough.  You all, as much as my colleagues inside the company, allow me to do what I do.

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