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5 TIPS for women entrepreneurs

Last updated on: March 16, 2012 11:08 IST

5 TIPS for women entrepreneurs

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Suruchi Wagh, founder and COO of YourNextLeap.com explains why entrepreneurship is not harder for women, but different

Entrepreneurship is risky -- and women are the ones who risk even their own life to give birth to a new one!

So it's innate for women to be entrepreneurs.

Hence, this note is not to preach women on entrepreneurship but to inspire those women who are at the edge of 'To be' or 'Not to be' in a start-up.

I think the entrepreneurial journey for women is not harder than it is for men, but just a little different!

Let me quote a few instances from my journey and the lessons I learnt.

Courtesy: YourStory.in

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Image: Suruchi Wagh
Photographs: Proto.in

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1. Do not wait for anyone else to do the honors

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As women in technology, I feel there's very little expected from us.

I was attending a start-up event with my co-founder, Mohit Gundecha.

A common industry contact introduced Mohit to a fellow start-up founder and just stopped there.

Well, I then extended my hand and said -- "Hi, I am Suruchi, Mohit's co-founder at YourNextLeap."

Don't be surprised! Such things happen; be ready to stand up for yourself.

Illustration: Dominic Xavier




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2. Compare yourself with the best, not just fellow women

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I feel women tend to compare themselves with other women.

Get out of your shell and compare yourself with other stellar performers -- men or women -- and strive to be at par with them.

I have spoken at start-up events and people have come up and said, "Wow, we met a smart woman entrepreneur!"

I would rather take that 'woman' part away and be known just as a smart entrepreneur.

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh




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3. Yes, VCs do fund women entrepreneurs

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In one of our fund-raising conversations with Amit Patni and Rajan Mehra of Nirvana Venture Advisors, I remember Rajan saying, "Having kids or not is totally your personal issue. As long as you stay committed and passionate towards YourNextLeap, nothing else matters to us."

I am proud to have them as investors on my board.

Believe me, if you have an idea that addresses a huge market, the conviction to execute and the commitment to provide continuity -- your gender does not matter.

Look at companies like mydala and babyoye -- they have raised institutional capital and have lady founders.

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh




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4. It's important to identify your weaknesses and play to your strengths

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By July 2011, YourNextLeap was growing faster than I had planned for.

I came from a product and operations background and I was too busy building the product.

I needed someone to run the business and thus we got a CEO and co-founder who has been instrumental in continuing the momentum at YourNextLeap.

So, identify your weaknesses and ask for help at the right time.

Illustration: Dominic Xavier




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5. Entrepreneurship doesn't always mean founding a start-up. You could even join one!

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Currently, 1/3rd of YourNextLeap's team comprises of women and many of our teams -- finance, user experience, behavioural science and product, are also led by them.

Not that I consciously look for women; but these passionate girls whom we hired are just darn good at what they do!

Product and design are some of the areas where I see women making an impact in tech start-ups.

Think of Marissa Mayer at Google and Caterina Fake of Flickr!

So all you women out there -- You are smart enough to make your own choices.

Go ahead and make one -- because you live just once!

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh




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