Women currently represent only 33% of business owners, despite controlling the majority of spending power globally. That disparity has been brought into starker focus as a result of the pandemic, during which women-founded startups received 27% less funding. At the same time women were a third more likely to own a company in a sector shut due to Covid restrictions and regulations, demonstrating that the overdue and meagre gains in equality cannot be taken for granted.
As a result Winderman Thompson is launching Fund Femme, “a new global database of women and non-binary owned businesses”, which is designed to help tackle the overall gender inequality. It is designed to allow consumers to seek out and discover businesses owned by women and non-binary professionals across key sectors including beauty, fashion, food, homeware, technology, health and wellness, travel, fitness, arts and culture, media and charities.
Wunderman Thompson’s UK chief executive Pip Hulbert said: “Only 3% of venture capitalist funding currently goes to women-owned businesses, despite the fact they deliver higher revenue on average. That’s an imbalance that needs to change. We know the reasons why – I could reel off stats all day about the benefits of a balanced, representative economy.
“My hope is that Fund Femme ... born from a group of smart, ambitious and passionate women, can be a part of that change, providing a platform for underrepresented businesses to flourish. Every pound plays a role in shifting the scale.”
The database allows users to search by location, category and other tags that the women and non-binary owners have elected to use for their businesses.
In addition to the database itself, a central tenet of the scheme is boosting the visibility of the business founders included. The provision is there for the founders to share their own stories and those of others via an editorial hub on the site and via social channels including Instagram.
Oriel Irvine Wells, co-founder of Fund Femme, said: “Our economy does not represent us, and that needs to change. By giving businesses owned by women and non-binary people a platform, we hope to make people more aware of the many amazing founders out there who are often overlooked.”
Rebecca Dallimore is the owner and founder of Scintilla. As one of the early adopters of the scheme, she said: “Being a female founder of a small business comes with its own challenges, but equally feels like a community. Being a part of directories like Fund Femme not only helps promote our businesses but gives us a valuable network of connections that can be a huge source of support and inspiration.”