There are no Women Entrepreneurs
There are just Women who become Entrepreneurs.
Here are their top 7 traits:-
1. They see a male dominated society or industry and they don’t bat an eyelash.
From a Princess to a young graduate entering STEM industries, their stories are the same. Yes, I was told there are usually no women. And then I told them I would be the first.
At the Crib Summit, H.R.H. Princess Nisreen El-Hashemite said her greatest challenge was her title. The title, which gave her cultural and religious power by being ahead of the state, was disempowering because her colleagues in her field of choice asked why she didn’t wear a tiara to work. Or do more ‘princessy’ things. Thankfully, this modern princess knew she could have her pretty clothes and her Ph.D. in Human Genetics.
The recent release of the movie, Hidden Figures is another case in point, a brilliant mind is a brilliant mind and it comes it all shapes, sizes, and genders.
2. They simply don’t give up.
They just keep on keeping on. Panelist after panelist told stories of how they outran and outlasted everyone else to be the one still standing. It was never a gender issue, it was a who could deal with the challenges longer.
Claire Chiang spoke of Banyan Tree riding the wave of one economic crisis after another and still managing just to keep afloat. Small business founders shared at breaks and at private one-on-one or small groups their own stories of tenacity and grit. Brené Brown would have been so proud to hear us.
The vulnerability is not worn on the sleeve as a bleeding heart but more like an empress dowager. She looks strong outside but inside, she too has doubts and challenges and she finds trusted advisors – here at Crib, a trusted female community of advisors who have seen their way through their own tough entrepreneurial patches.
3. They are continual learners
This was one rich deep and expansive summit. So many offerings of workshops and rich conversations – and we were asked to join Howdy an app to continue talking before and after events. Women bring other women together to an almost potluck a business meal together. When not on stage, we found Elim Chew drinking a coffee surrounded by young men and women who wanted to learn from her varied experiences. She herself so versed in the social media world, was seen attending a Facebook workshop to deepen her knowledge.
Anna Gong, the finalist for Women Entrepreneur of the Year, went to the Negotiation Workshop and Elim joked that Anna probably needed to teach her own workshop on how to re-found a startup and make it successful by negotiating with new partners and investors. A rare skill that Anna has shown to the world and that’s why Perx has Eduardo Saverin and Golden Gate Ventures behind this Singapore-born startup.
4. They lean in before Leaning In was what you called it
Virginia Tan spoke of Lean In China and how they have started researching about the wage gap. She mentioned her own experiences of being paid less that a male colleague and how he was a friend and told her. She reflected and spoke to her Human Resources department and realized she had negotiated lower than most men during her work relocation from London to China. She now uses this story to remind the women in her communities not to underestimate their worth and value.
Rosaline Chow Koo jumped in with a great story of how an established investment firm told her after one of her pitches, that when they see a man presenting whatever numbers he gives them for his startup – they divide it by 10. For women they multiple by 10. That’s how often he sees women underestimating their value.
5. They are comfortable being in the limelight and the tough light. They carry themselves with grace.
As women who know they have made headways that many other women still aspire towards, most successful women entrepreneurs take the social media limelight and use it for good.
The “How to Build your Brand and Grow your Influence using Social Media” workshop where Love Bonito’s co-founder Rachel Lim and Katherina-Olivia Lacey spoke about the integrity of being a personal brand. It rang true with how we all know that most people want to see only the “happy happy” times and not the tough times. Yet how entrepreneurs and women and humans have those tough days and we need to show that too. To be a true face to what being an entrepreneur really is.
6. They do things to create a Me-We world
At the Crib Summit, partnering with DBS foundation, we saw many amazing initiatives for social good. I was impressed by The Everyday Revolution’s CEO Sophia Tan’s vision for art allowing autistic kids an expression as well as means of fundraising for their needs. The artwork spoke of their world and was such a spark of joy to the conference venue.
Also, they had a great Crib Marketplace with green initiatives to swap clothes and use eco-friendly products.
They make a business that makes the world better – Triple Bottom Line: Planet, People, Profits.
7. Not Women Power – but Self Power.
Anita Kapoor tells us she is blessed with a voice. She uses this to shine a light on challenging social issues and to awaken her audience to their full potential.
In her workshop and while on the opening panel, she espouses the need to know ourselves first. To go deep and align ourselves with whether that is the true mission before embarking.
What I loved most about the Crib Summit were the little children and daddies in tow, the Crib women have made family and work one. There is no division. Reema Khan of Great Sands Equity has scaled her company quickly and is the youngest member of the team. The rest are older men with roller decks that help her create the relationships she needs for the company. However, she spoke about her travels and arriving and departing as quickly as she could to get back to her kids in San Francisco. Yet she did come to the Crib Summit.
MP Lily Neo was seen carrying her newest grandson from daughter Crib Co-Founder Dr. Elaine Kim. The self-power is the way to re-make the rules of the business game the way it suits women. Know yourself. Create the world that gives that to you.
And in a very Arianna Huffington way, we started the day and took breaks with Mindfulness exercises.
Want to listen to a STEM Princess … watch the video below:
The CNBC video of HRH is here: http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000600490
Interested in such events for yourself or your female team members? Find out more here.
What is CRIB video: https://www.facebook.com/Cribsociety/videos/1001077399926407/
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