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n honor of International Women’s Day (March 8th), we are excited to share the stories of three women entrepreneurs: Christine Herrin, founder of Everyday Explorers Co., Sarah McClain, founder of Wise Women Wealth, and Eniola Oshodi, founder of Dope Scrubs. These three women are blazing their own trails and resetting expectations for business ownership.
The central theme of International Women’s Day 2022 is #BreakTheBias, part of an initiative to achieve a gender-equal world. From schools to workplaces and beyond, gender inequality prevails globally. This is true even for women who break from the mold and start their own businesses. In fact, as of 2021 women receive an average of $5,000 less in small business loans when compared to men, according to Fundera.
This inequality endures despite the contribution of women. According to research by the Boston Consulting Group and Mass Challenge, women-led start-ups make seventy-eight cents for every dollar of investment they receive, compared to thirty-one cents for companies led by men. That’s more than twice as much money earned per investment dollar by female-owned businesses over male-owned businesses. Businesses run by women are also safer for investors. According to LegalJobs, compared to male entrepreneurs, female-led companies bring in twice the amount of money.
Supporting women-led businesses and empowering female entrepreneurs is an essential step towards breaking the gender bias. That’s why we are very honored to share the story of three of our users and their businesses. These inspiring women have demonstrated strength and perseverance - they are also resourceful and creative, driven by passion and vision.
Founder and Owner of Everyday Explorers Co
The idea for Everyday Explorers Co. came about when Christine, a graphic designer from Manila, Philippines, noticed that although she loved journals, stickers, and stamps, no products matched her aesthetic or the stories she wanted to tell. This passion led to a small business with a line of clear stamps and paper products designed to help people document everyday life with a sense of discovery and adventure. In Christine’s words, her business is a “woman of color owned business and a one woman show.” From design to marketing to shipping, Christine runs it all.
Christine credits other women in the scrapbooking industry with supporting her by collaborating and sharing their experiences. About her business thus far, she says she is most proud that she has made her passion into a full-time gig.
“Running a company used to sound very daunting to me until I woke up one day and realized I was doing it already!”
Her advice to other entrepreneurs? “Keep going! When things get hard, remember that you’re resilient and that you’ll figure it out, because you always figure things out.” She also recommends finding a community of like-minded business owners to work with and learn from, as well as continually asking for help when you need it.
When asked what female entrepreneurship means to her, she said, “I think as women, we’re so used to solving problems and figuring things out, and it leads to really unique and successful businesses. Celebrating female entrepreneurs can inspire women to be creative and independent in all areas of their life.”
Founder and Owner of Wise Women Wealth
Sarah began Wise Women Wealth to address the lack of comprehensive financial consulting for women. She found that studies demonstrate that women, for the most part, are better savers and investors when compared to men - and that communities do better when women are financially empowered. Her company, Wise Women Wealth, is a financial consulting firm by women and for women. She works with her clients on budgeting, managing debt, and changing behavior, tailoring plans to each unique client. In her words, she aims to “make money a source of strength rather than a taboo subject”.
Sarah cites the support she received from other women, especially her successful female entrepreneur friends, as a factor that bolstered her business’s success. Without this mentorship and encouragement, she says she doesn’t think she would have summoned the courage to bet on herself. Sarah is most proud of her clients' progress with her help and loves empowering other women to put themselves in better financial positions, to learn, and to build confidence.
Her advice to other entrepreneurs is to harness the power of your network: “I’ve learned that people really want to help. So many opportunities have come to me because others have shared information about my business. Tell people what you’re doing. You’ll be amazed at what comes your way.”
To Sarah, female entrepreneurship means power and freedom. “Too often,” she says, “these things are taken away from women, especially when it comes to employment. By creating your own space and source of income, you decide your worth and how your time is spent.”
Founder and Owner of Dope Scrubs
A Nurse Practitioner herself, Eniola realized that unflattering scrubs plagued the medical field and adversely affected the confidence and self-expression of medical personnel. Her solution was to create Dope Scrubs, one of the fastest-growing medical apparel brands to hit the market in recent years. Featuring a wide array of unique style options, Dope Scrubs provides medical personnel with attire that meets their style preferences. Not only that, but increasing the portrayal of underrepresented ethnic groups within the healthcare workforce is core to Eniola’s mission.
A decade of being in the medical field and wearing her fair share of scrubs inspired Eniola to create more sophisticated attire for medical professionals. Dope Scrubs offers non-traditional scrub stylese, including their heritage collection, which celebrates African American culture by incorporating subtle prints into everyday uniforms. This past year, they also hosted their first-ever mentorship event for individuals from unrepresented backgrounds looking to join the healthcare workforce. Eniola says she’s most proud to have expanded Dope Scrubs beyond just e-commerce and into a physical location.
Eniola’s advice to aspiring female entrepreneurs is to dream big and turn those dreams into a reality. “Nothing is impossible,” she says, “and any challenge or setbacks that you face are simply a lesson and opportunity for growth.”
On female entrepreneurship, she cites how valuable it is to lead by example: “Being a female entrepreneur, especially one of color, is important to me. I believe that it paves the way for the young girls who look like me and inspires them to think big. That’s why no matter what, I feel it is my duty to keep striving so that I can lift up the next generation.”
We all can learn a thing or two from these three women who are pursuing their mission and bringing an idea to life. Celebrate International Women’s Day and women’s empowerment this year by supporting a woman-owned business - together, we are capable of overcoming bias. And to all female entrepreneurs out there, pursue your dreams, strive for growth, support one another, and remain resilient.
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