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'Born to stand out': Leading women entrepreneurs share their advice

Babson College’s WIN Lab® — which stands for Women Innovating Now — is an accelerator championing women-led companies. Yahoo Finance recently spoke with Miami WIN Lab Director Michelle Abbs.

“There is an archetype that the entrepreneurial world has when they think about what success looks like in start-ups,” Abbs told Yahoo Finance. “Women, we don’t see ourselves as part of that archetype, we don’t feel as invited into that space.”

‘Entrepreneurialism really favors the bold’

Arielle Cohen — Founder of Design Troopers and alumna of the Miami WIN Lab — told Yahoo Finance she “was born to stand out, and when I walk into a roomful of men and male investors, I'm usually one of the only females in the room...

“I play the role that I am, a female-owned business, to my advantage and I let the numbers speak for themselves.”

Nathalie Cadet-James — Founder of Luxe Fête Social — shared some insight gained from her experience in the Miami WIN Lab. “I have found a lot of great advice. We share a lot of resources. It’s that community that will help you grow your business as well.”

Abbs noted: “The more sensitive, emotional, soft-spoken a woman or a man is, the less likely they are to get funded.”

Women-owned businesses by the numbers

American Express’ 2018 annual State Of Women-Owned Businesses Report found that:

  • 4 out of 10 businesses in the United States are women-owned

  • Women of color account for 47% of all women-owned businesses

  • The estimated 5,824,300 women-of-color-owned businesses employ 2,230,600 people and generate $386.6 billion in revenues.

  • From 2007 to 2018, the number of businesses owned by women of color grew 163% — nearly three times the 58% growth rate of women-owned businesses as a whole.

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