Wunderman Thompson has announced the launch of Fund Femme, a new global database of women and non-binary-owned businesses, aimed at helping tackle gender inequality in the economy.
According to the agency, despite making up 50% of the population and having 80% of spending power, women represent only 33% of business owners. COVID-19 has dealt a massive blow to femme-owned businesses with women-founded start-ups receiving 27% less funding.
Similarly, women were a third more likely to work, or own a company, in a sector that was shut due to COVID-19 regulations last year. With the investment gap widening, small to medium women-owned businesses have become even more vulnerable.
Wunderman Thompson’s Fund Femme is designed to tip the scales and put balance back into the economy.
“Our economy does not represent us, and that needs to change. By giving businesses owned by women and non-binary people a platform, we hope to make people more aware of the many amazing founders out there who are often overlooked.,” said Oriel Irvine Wells, Co-Founder of Fund Femme and Copywriter at Wunderman Thompson UK.
“By thinking more about who we support when we spend our money and changing our shopping habits to reflect this, we can create genuine, long-lasting change and bring our economy back into balance.”
The global platform allows consumers to discover, and shop from, women and non-binary business owners across beauty, fashion, food, homeware, technology, health and wellness, travel, fitness, arts and culture, media and charities. Users can filter based on category, location or through tags that businesses have added to identify themselves.
“Following my passion for sustainability and skincare to start my own business was one of the scariest but most rewarding things I’ve ever done. Being a female founder of a small business comes with its own challenges but equally feels like a community,” added Rebecca Dallimore, Founder and Owner of skincare brand Scintilla.
“Being a part of directories like Fund Femme not only helps promote our businesses but gives us a valuable network of connections that can be a huge source of support and inspiration.”
A core part of the platform’s mission is to celebrate and promote femme founders, tell their stories and establish support networks for business owners via an editorial hub on the website and designated Instagram @FundFemme.
The aim is to create the world’s largest database of women and non-binary businesses — and entrepreneurs all over the world are invited to sign up and take part at www.fundfemme.com. Businesses joining can be of any size, all that is asked is that the entrepreneurs share Fund Femme’s principles rooted in equality, ethics, honestly, passion and consideration.
“Only 3% of Venture Capitalist funding currently goes to women owned businesses despite the fact they deliver higher revenue on average. That’s an imbalance that needs to change. We know the reasons why, I could reel off stats all day about the benefits of a balanced, representative economy,” said Pip Hulbert, UK CEO of Wunderman Thompson.
“My hope is that Fund Femme, an initiative born from a group of smart, ambitious and passionate women, can be a part of that change, providing a platform for underrepresented businesses to flourish. I’d urge everyone to think about the businesses you know that can join the movement, and how you use your spending power moving forward. Every pound plays a role in shifting the scale.”