Female founders at dm

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Female founders at dm

International Women’s Day: NO PLANET B, Langhaarmädchen, Foodloose on how to go your own way

Female founders at dm

One statistic really got to me this week. According to the first German Social Entrepreneurship Monitor (DSEM) from December 2018, 50% of all founders for social innovation are women. That’s start-ups with a goal beyond profit. So far, so cool. But then the next statistic. This stands in contrast to the classic start-up, where the percentage of female founders in the same year was only 15%. The proportion of women on the boards of major German companies is even lower. So far, so uncool.

I'm only in my second week as the public face of NO PLANET B. Before that we had spend years creating the brand and I've spend almost 20 years working in the advertising & product industry all around the world, including the male-dominated arena of food retail. I have worked in companies where equality has been exemplary. But I have also experienced the total opposite. It’s not always a lack of support for women at work. So, what is keeping the ladies back? I have a very personal theory: emotions. The heart. Feelings. Passion. All words still too seldom heard at Boardroom level. Too fluffy, not factual enough, too frivolous - and quite often, not "measurable". Emotions get under-estimated; cold logic wins. But change is afoot. The human brain is led first and foremost by feelings. Women are not shy of applying logic and emotion. These two aspects must be valued equally. Today, on International Women's Day, I want to celebrate two very different female founders who have listened to their hearts. Girl bosses on their terms. The founders Julia & Mona from the cult hair brand Langhaarmädchen and Katharina & Verena from Foodloose. During a time-out in Australia, Julia and Mona set about getting their vision for their brand down on paper with enthusiasm and passion. Their motivation? Girls and women should feel confident in themselves and develop their own style and personality. Power-mums Katharina & Verena turned their attention to the dull health food snack market and instead created the super-tasty and organic bars for Foodloose with imaginative names like Delhi Delight or Poesie Amelie. Talking to these amazing ladies, what struck me from the outset was how often I was hearing the same words: passion, enthusiasm, sharing values, nurturing potential. Doesn’t sound too uncool, does it?

 

5 tips for female founders - Julia & Mona, die Langhaarmädchen

1. Your business = 80% of your personality!
2. Pay careful attention to your goals!
3. Follow your feelings! 
4. Trust yourself!
5. Have fun learning and growing!

 

5 tips for female founders - Katharina & Verena, Foodloose

1. Follow your passion
2. Be authentic. Be yourself
3. When someone under-estimates you, it’s a chance to positively prove them wrong!
4. Run your business so you can still sleep at night 
5. Nothing goes smoothly all the time. Stick with it – longer than anyone else!

5 tips for female founders - Jessie, NO PLANET B

1. Keep your cool! You can do more when you’re relaxed
2. Find your tribe – surround yourself with people who believe in you 
3. Hand it over! You can’t do everything on your own
4. Be real. Be who you are, not someone you think you should be 
5. Sleep on it. 8 hours = daily mini miracles : )

Jessie Woelke