1,000 Stories from Women Entrepreneurs

Women and Girls Lead campaign partner, The Story Exchange, is teaming up with The Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership  to launch 1,000 Stories, a new project aimed at understanding the needs of women business owners and giving their stories the media exposure they deserve.

Did you know that women perform 66% of the world’s work and produce 50% of the food, but earn 10% of the income and own just 1% of the property?

Did you know that in the U.S., women-owned businesses grow at twice the rate of all businesses and have done so for nearly three decades?

Did you know that even though women-owned businesses succeed at the same rate as men’s, women seeking first-year financing receive about 80% less capital than their male counterparts?*

Though women entrepreneurs are essential to our economy, their needs are often overlooked by policymakers and their stories left untold in the media.

The Story Exchange, a Women and Girls Lead campaign partner, and The Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership (CWEL) at Babson College have launched a new project to expand our understanding and appreciation of women in business by collecting and sharing stories from female entrepreneurs.  Through the 1,000 Stories campaign, they invite women to respond to a first-of-its-kind survey on their personal and professional experiences as entrepreneurs.  The women and their companies will be featured on the 1,000 Stories website, inspiring and empowering a new generation of female entrepreneurs.  The data will also be analyzed by CWEL and presented to lawmakers, NGOs, and the banking industry so that they can recognize and build initiatives around women in business.

“It is vital that we create a new narrative of entrepreneurship. The stories and the optic are so often male,” said Victoria Wang, co-founder of The Story Exchange. “Our 1,000 Stories campaign will give women a platform and reveal their entrepreneurial needs.”

Sue Williams, Executive Director of The Story Echange, comments that, “Around the world we see that when women start businesses, of whatever size, they educate their kids, keep them healthy, and give back to their communities.  As a filmmaker, I find their stories compelling and often very moving as they struggle to find economic independence and personal fulfillment.”

Help create the next story for women in business by telling your story here.

*Sources: UNICEF: Gender Equality – The Big Picture, 2007; Women Business Research Center: The Economic Impact of Women-owned businesses in the U.S., October 2009; GEM GLOBAL 2007: Global Report on Women’s Entrepreneurship, May 2008.