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Women founders: These 25+ resources can help you build community and boost business

Here's where to look first when starting your entrepreneurial journey, or where to find peers when growing.

At a Great Dames networking event. (Courtesy photo)

This editorial article is a part of Funding Women Founders Month of's editorial calendar.

Being a women who launches her own company means facing particular challenges.

While entrepreneurs saw a pretty normal (even great, in Philly) level of venture capital deals last year, women made up a very small percentage, with VC funding declining for women-led startups. Women with careers have also had difficulties in getting back to work during the pandemic. And even as women have driven recent entrepreneurship growth, accessing biz-saving Paycheck Protection Program loans has been difficult, partly due to a lack of relationships with lending institutions as well as an early (now changed) provision that non-employer firms — disproportionately run by women and people of color — could not apply.

Even outside of a global crisis, though, there’s contending with things like sexism and a gender imbalance on the investing side.

But support exists, especially from other women-led orgs, in Philadelphia and beyond. Below are more than 25 resources we sourced from our reporting and from community members to help women founders boost their businesses. All offer professional development, community connection or tactical support.

Thanks to the founders and others who offered these recommendations: Yasmine Mustafa, Uva Coles, Marissa Taffer, Melissa Lee, Shannon Morales, Melissa Rucci, Joelle Tolifero and Na’Tosha Wyles.

And if you know of another resource that should be included here, let us know: We’ll update this list periodically.

Mentorship and peer groups

Funding support

Meetups and events

Online courses and media

Women to know

Other resources

For more general but still local entrepreneurship resources, check out Philly Startup Leaders. You can also look to this list of more than 15 resources for Black and Latinx entrepreneurs, including The Enterprise Center, the African American Chamber of Commerce and Temple University’s Small Business Development Center. And if you’re looking for more general women-in-tech resources, check out this roundup of 75 (!!!) we put together in 2019.

Michael Butler is a 2020-2022 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Lenfest Institute for Journalism.
Series: Funding Women Founders Month 2021

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