New York City is a powerful place. Electric, fast-paced energy can be found on even on the quietest streets of SoHo. New York City is also a pretty progressive city, valuing and honoring inclusion of all its diverse residents. The city offers a multitude of resources to female entrepreneurs allowing them access to the tools they need to be set up for success.
Social clubs such as The Wing, the American Business Women’s Association, and the Tory Burch Foundation offer spaces for these like-minded women to gather, connect, and work. Competitions such as the Tory Burch Foundation Fellows Competition, the InnovateHER Challenge, and the Project Entrepreneur program give them opportunities to get funding for their ideas or have a platform to share.
WE NYC (Women Entrepreneurs NYC) is based out of the New York City Department of Small Business Services that is dedicated to helping women start, and grow, their businesses. “Men own 1.5 times the number of businesses, have 3.5 times the number of employees, and generate 4.5 times the amount of revenue” compared to women entrepreneurs. So We NYC developed tailored tools and programs for these women to create an initiative that connects women entrepreneurs with the resources, education, and community they need to thrive.
These programs and ideas get filtered down to the younger generation of women in the city as well. Girls Inc., an organization dedicated to teaching young girls how to live healthy, independent, and educated lives, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. Their larger initiative called 100inspiring100 aims to “find 100 female leaders who will donate copies of The Startup Squad” to 100 of their girls. This is aimed to help encourage these young entrepreneurs to realize their potential and follow their dreams.
This female empowerment has data proven effects as well. According to UNWomen.org, when more women work the economy grows. In addition to this, women’s economic equality is good for business. Companies who value and work to improve leadership opportunities have been shown to prove organizational effectiveness and growth.
Feminism is about more than just equality in pay comparatively to men, but it also means having spaces and places for women to access the tools, education, and opportunities for success. Platforms and communities where these women are heard, inspired, and encouraged, and then can provide mentorship to the next generation.