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Female entrepreneurs platform aims to sign up 20 000 women in first year

Future Females, a platform where women entrepreneurs can network and get support, aims to grow its user base to 20 000 female entrepreneurs in its first year, the platform’s co-founder Lauren Davies told Ventureburn. The platform was launched last Thursday in Cape Town.

Davies, who is also the founder of e-learning platform the Growth Academy, founded the platform with Cerina Bezuidenhout, who works for business support programme Techstars.

The aim of the platform is to accelerate female entrepreneurship by sharing information on funding, grants and offering support to its members through awareness, education and direct funding.

‘Aim is to help female entrepreneurs by sharing information on funding, grants and offering support’

“Firstly, we want to ensure that female entrepreneurs are aware of the various options available to them to access funds, whether this is detailing angel investment groups, local venture capital contacts, or information about the numerous incubator and accelerator programs. We will do this through our website (aiming for go live end of September) and through email updates.”

“Secondly, we want to educate female entrepreneurs on how to approach and pitch for funding, which includes information around how to get a warm introduction, how to structure a pitch deck and how to structure your cap table. This will form part of our event series. We also aim to form a group of mentors and advisors who can support members one on one through this process,” says Davies.

She said further down the line the idea is to partner with a fund and create an incubator that will offer both direct funding and a support programme to help members of the community start and grow their businesses.

“Currently our focus is on building the Future Females network and on finding a model that can easily be scaled across the country, across Africa, and globally,” she said.

Catherine Luckoff, founder and CEO of music streaming startup Nichestreem and Claire Alexander, co-founder of events and marketing company Firecracker were speakers at last week’s launch of Future Females.

Davies said in a co-creation exercise held at the event the more than 160 people who attended the event were quizzed on what the top issues are that face female entrepreneurs. These they agreed were: having an entrepreneur mindset, networking, business strategy, time management and fundraising.

She said in addition to the highlighted issues, the platform would also focus on financial literacy and strategic partnerships. Based on these results, next month’s Future Females event will focus on the entrepreneurial mindset, while October’s event will deal with the issue of networking. The dates for both upcoming events are still to be confirmed.

The launch event was live-streamed on Facebook and can be viewed  here.

Featured image: Supplied, front row (left to right) Future Females product manager Mark Berman and the platform’s founders Lauren Davies and Cerina Bezuidenhout.