Women Innovators and the Freedom to Fail

I recently listened to the Bloomberg Women to Watch interview with women tech leaders at Facebook, SurveyMonkey, Stella & Dot, and Accel Partners.

cw_NewsLtr01_WtW365_01Midway through the interview, they talk about comfort with failing. Or, as the organizer of the annual FAILFaire conference puts it, “if you’re not failing, you’re not considered to be innovating enough.”

Women who are funding social impact share much with entrepreneurs, tech innovators and startups. The models are evolving. The outcome is unclear. There is a very high risk of failure.

Catalyst has fascinating studies showing that women, in particular, feel a lot of pressure to educate ourselves – especially when forging ahead into new territory. I think it boils down to this: women want to feel credible. And we want good resources and advisors to help point us in the right direction.

women + financial influence + community = social impact

The formula is straightforward, but the available information is not. Women now own the majority of private assets in the US. (See sidebar infographic.) Consider the impact of this emerging demographic of wealth: women influence most financial decisions, yet make decisions differently.

Catalytic Women is building a dynamic community of women who want to leverage their intellectual and financial resources for social impact. This new community is free, by application only. It takes 5 minutes to apply online.

If you know women – friends, clients, colleagues – who are curious about peer learning networks, please share this email with them. If you advise women learning how to fund social impact, let us share our resources with you. And if you’re already a believer, invite me to speak at your next event. As you can see, I’m passionate about this topic.

For those tackling a new business, big idea or a major social issue in 2013, best of luck with your failures.


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