Female entrepreneurship being at the core of BPW values ever since its inception, though not being publicized much from a social and business aspect, members from BPW France thought a few years ago that a special commission dealing with the subject could be created.
The initial idea was to have a group of women – actual entrepreneurs, wannabe entrepreneurs and even those with merely an interest in entrepreneurship – gather to share and learn from each other’s experiences and lessons learned. The commission actually proved to have a few more positive outputs. It is a place where female entrepreneurs who usually dedicate themselves 24/7 to their project can come, talk and take some perspective on what they are pursuing. It is also a key to mentorship: the « if she made it why could I not? » question still being a trigger for most women. The commission also aims at changing a situation where only 30% of entrepreneurs are female, again with an aim to convince women that provided they have the right info and coaching, they too can make it. Last but not least, it is a tool aimed at encouraging entrepreneurs, whether male of female, to take the first step towards success.
The commission was first established in 2010, after one year of thinking and planning. Its members gather on a monthly basis to share on special topics and also to give their insight on what makes an entrepreneur’s life so special (regulatory obligations, financing needs, etc.). They are also encouraged to share best practices and skills (e.g. if someone is proficient in IT, accounting, etc., these skills can be shared on a free basis). The commission can also be seen at special events such as the Salon des Entrepreneurs, a commercial fare attracting thousands of entrepreneurs and business managers in both Lyon and Paris.
The commission leaders are now focusing on developing partnerships with other like-minded groups to extend their visibility and scope of actions. They are also trying to get involved into concrete national and European-level projects such as Kimi. If men have proved able to develop far-reaching, powerful networks, why couldn’t we?
Entrepreneurship for Women Commission
Reported by Young BPW France