After delving into research on women in business, with a special interest in female startup founders, entrepreneurs Erika Szychowski and Phyllis Deally recognized a problem with fundraising, said Entrepreneur. The issue stemmed from the small amount of money being invested into female entrepreneurs, which left plenty of funding “on the sidelines.”
Even worse – they found that some female entrepreneurs “faked” some of their male counterparts to obtain funding, or even brought their husbands to pitch meetings to encourage funding for their business initiatives.
As a result, Szychowski and Deally founded Project F, a “social experiment” and platform designed to encourage female entrepreneurs to help each other and their businesses. The platform will help women share ideas, promote products, and generate a database, Entrepreneur said.
As of last week, Project F has over 100 members, and “will take a pledge to seek out and support female-founded brands, sharing the message on social media and asking their customers and fans to do the same.” The goal will be to share and promote each other’s stories, rather than their own.
“We want our founders to introduce her consumers to another female founder’s products,” Deally told Entrepreneur. “That’s what we want to find out here: can we create a bigger pool, aggregate intent, and make sure these women are having more economic success and eventually getting the funding they need to grow their businesses at the rate that they could if they had that support.”
As the initiative continues to grow, Project F will collect data and analytics, and identify consumers who are inspired to purchase female-founded brands, Entrepreneur says. Szychowski and Deally envision the platform to eventually offer giveaways, and feature a commerce platform.
“We 100 percent believe it can evolve into a marketplace,” Szychowski told Entrepreneur. “This isn’t about founders hanging out at a private club. It’s about making sure that everything we do includes consumers.”