Are you a female founder based in London?
Lucky for you – you’re in the right spot. With a number of networks, events programmes and coworking spaces popping up specifically for the benefit of female entrepreneurs, the future is looking bright for improving gender equality within the startup industry.
We’ve compiled a list of some of the best resources and support groups for female entrepreneurs in London, whatever stage your business may be in.
Future Girl Corp
Future Girl Corp was started by one of London’s most well-known female entrepreneurs, Sharmadean Reid, the founder of WAH Nails and now Beauty Stack, who was awarded an MBE in 2015. So it’s a no-brainer that Reid knows the trials and tribulations that comes with being a female founder. As a response, she created Future Girl Corp, a community for future female CEO’s that provides workshops, events, access to an online network via a Facebook group and a website that includes interviews with entrepreneurs, event roundups and a book club.
Women Who is a community for creative working women. Founded by Otegha Uwagba (you might recognise her name by her bestseller The Little Black Book), Women Who is an online and IRL network that involves regular workshops and events, a weekly newsletter and a must-listen podcast called In Good Company. Most recently she’s launched The Roundtables, which consists of 3-hour sessions designed to tackle your career challenges. Described as part mentor session, part careers clinic, the relaxed workshop is led by Otegha and acts as a place for you to throw around ideas, build your network, and get advice from a group of like-minded women.
The Coven is an online membership platform for female founders and freelancers. The group was started by entrepreneur Sapphire Bates after she struggled with the loneliness that came with working for herself. The outcome is now an online community that consists of around 500 women who share the same passion of growing their businesses and careers. Membership to the platform starts from £10 a month and includes access to the Facebook network, monthly online workshops, worksheets, how-to guides, business plan templates and a weekly newsletter, while different tiers of membership include accountability calls and mentor sessions.
Women Business Leaders
Powered by social enterprise Women Ahead, the Women Business Leaders programme is a partnership with Santander that sees the next generation of female entrepreneurs paired with carefully selected mentors from a variety of industries and backgrounds. The mentees are paired with either a female or male mentor from a different sector in order to challenge their usual way of thinking, but will still be matched with someone who can provide the support that they need to reach their goals.
Tribe is a female-founded organisation that aims for our working environments to be as diverse as the city we live in. The platform was created by Seyi Newell after she kept finding herself the only black woman in the places that she worked and events she attended. She launched Tribe to help women from under-represented groups develop skills such as confidence, leadership, planning, self-awareness, motivation and communication. The mentoring programme is for young women from the ages of 16-30 across all different industries and professions.
Named after the first female U.S Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, the All Bright Club is a women-only coworking space based in Bloomsbury. The space revolts against the usual male-orientated features found in coworking spaces, i.e beers and foosball tables, and instead offers a number of chic work spaces and meeting rooms alongside a beauty salon and fitness studio. Members get access to the monthly events programme which includes talks, meetups and film screenings, while the Club also works in partnership with HSBC to host Pitch Days, where founders can pitch their ideas for investment. Non-members can apply for the online All Bright Academy, a free 10-week digital programme for founders at different stages of their business.
Blooming Founders is platform for early stage female entrepreneurs that offers workspace venues at 2 different locations across East London. With memberships ranging from hot desks, fixed desks and private offices, the two buildings include access to 7 meeting rooms and 3 different event spaces. Digital members are able to access the space on a pay-as-you go basis for as little as £15 a month, while the next tier of membership starts from £30 and gets you access to their events programme.
The Wing (coming soon)
After colossal success in the U.S, The Wing announced last year that they’ll be opening its first ever international location in London. Set to open this summer, female founders and freelancers in London can expect a huge dose of millennial pink paired with uber-cosy furniture (think plush couches and tassel chairs), beauty rooms and libraries organised by colour – that is if their current spaces are anything to go by. The brand has a killer events programme (Hillary Clinton has spoken at its New York space before, and even has its own magazine, shop and podcast. This one’s a force to be reckoned with.
23 Code Street
23 Code Street is a women’s coding school with a difference – for every paying woman who enrolls, a woman in the slums of India will be taught digital skills. Founded by 24 year old Anisah Osman Britton, Anisah’s aim is to address the gender inequality within the tech industry by empowering women with coding skills. The courses are made to be accessible to everyone, with payment plan options available and scholarships.
Hatch is a one of the UK’s leading community enterprise charities that’s tackling social inequality. Based in South London, the charity offers a series of programmes at launchpad, incubator and accelerator stage and specifically targets three groups: social enterprises, young entrepreneurs and female founders. The Female Founders Programme is a 4-month programme that combines business training with expert support and coaching to help your business scale and achieve better market fit.
Scale | Female Founders programme
Launched in partnership with PwC and Blooming Founders, the Scale programme is for female entrepreneurs who are running high potential tech companies. Covering sales, culture and team, operations and financing, the 12-week programme combines group masterclasses with private events and individual support. New registrations open this summer, so keep an eye out on the website!
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