Global Matters

Ignore the naysayers and other barrier-breaking advice from women in tech

Female innovators talk about the power to be your own boss and how to survive in the startup trenches

March 11, 2020, 4:49 PM Eastern Time
Five women entrepreneurs arm-in-arm with one holding a trophy.

 

Women are becoming their own bosses at an increasing rate yet so many are underfunded. Women receive just 7 percent of venture funds for their startups.[1] The Visa Everywhere Initiative is one way that Visa is shining a light on women-owned businesses and their economic potential. The global competition landed at New York Fashion Week last February with five inspiring women in the fashion and tech startup space competing for a $25,000 prize. The first female to coach in the NFL, Dr. Jen Welter, was there to cheer them on and inspire them with her own story of breaking barriers.

“The real power of being the first is that it gives people permission to dream bigger,” said Dr. Welter. “I always say it's not what you do, it's what you do with what you've done. What are the ripple effects that will happen because of being a first?”

That innovative spirit drove our five finalists to start their own businesses, even when many around them doubted their success. “Working in the engineering or science space, which is normally surrounded by men, and inventing something that was disruptive, at the beginning, they were not sure I was capable,” said finalist Sira Coba, founder and CEO of Shazura, an AI-based image and video recognition service.

 

  

In this video, we chat with the five finalists about staying focused, taking chances and having the confidence to know you can do it — even when others don’t. “One of the biggest challenges around being a female entrepreneur in tech might have been perceiving myself that way — seeing that I had the command of big data and IoT,” said the competition’s winner Natasha Franck, founder of Eon, which connects lifecycle management to IoT. “This opportunity with Visa shows how we can help brands profitably and sustainably through connected products.”

Visa is committed to supporting and empowering women in all facets of life this International Women’s Day and beyond. Just last week, we announced a partnership with IFundWomen, a funding and education platform that provides access to capital through grants and crowdfunding, and She’s Next, Empowered by Visa is a global initiative that champions women in their efforts to run, fund and grow their small businesses.

“If you are convinced you know how to solve one thing, go for it. Fight for it. It's going to be hard. But if you are sure, go,” said Coba.

The Visa Everywhere Initiative is more than a competition — it’s a rare opportunity for startups to get exposure to the world’s leader in digital payments. Visit www.visa.com/everywhereinitiative to find out this year’s challenges and submit a proposal to change the future and the future of your company.

 

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[1] https://www.fundera.com/resources/women-owned-business-statistics

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