When I was writing my masters thesis (some time last century) my course director’s advice was: don’t wait til it’s right, just write. I think that same advice applies to many other things – just make a start and then you will have started. Building a movement for change starts with a ‘lone nut’, but it is the first followers, the early adopters who join in and then before you know it, only the laggers are to come.
Deep, down, in the dark
The start spark glows
Out of the shadows
A flame grows.
So I set a date and got together a few people and thoughts to explore the idea to launch a network, that I think has potential to become an intermediary and change the equation on investment to women innovators and entrepreneurs in start ups and social enterprises. Did you know women entrepreneurs bring in 20% more revenue with 50% less money invested? Did you know women-led tech start-ups have a 35% higher ROI when venture backed and generate 12% higher revenue than male-run start-ups?
Come into the light
Are brought to mind
And into sight.
The launch date set, facts gathered and platforms activated, early signs were encouraging. Back lash on line within the start up community, a culture known for its high levels of immature testosterone and roaring risk taking set the scene and drove new people to the online community I was setting up. The gift of trolling was never more welcome. Turning negativity into an asset unleashed positive energy.
And loving family.
Conversations along the way began to gather in momentum and extend way beyond my own sphere of influence. Sunlight is the best antiseptic and bringing evidence and experience together where they can be heard, considered, deliberated and turned into actions is a pathway to change. Holding the space for these conversations to be had and providing a few tools to help the conversation along is not that difficult. The friendly ambience of wine and nibbles, a coterie of intelligent women and men, a timeslot that supports workers and understands some people want to be home to tuck a toddler into bed. Creating a genuine space that fosters collaboration is helped along with mood lighting, warm smiles and small tables.
Glasses of wine
Real life matters.
A social media campaign helps to and finding others to follow and join in with you can be as simple as following them first, asking for their tips and inviting them to help you out. I usually respond positively to requests I get, but hardly ever ask others to help me … so trying to turn this around. It seems to be working and today the campaign hit 200 followers on twitter and 250 in the closed facebook group – they are mostly different audiences. In the last month the tweets have earned just over 9k impressions.
Chooks launched this week at the National Wine Centre in Adelaide. Let’s get this done – gender equity in investment for women innovators and entrepreneurs. My promise to tomorrow is to keep up the momentum, don’t wait to join someone else’s movement – start your own.