It’s estimated that 75% of startups shut down after only two years. This page seeks to change that.
Lack of funding, little growth on social media, and no budget for web pages or training are just some of the problems faced by female micro-entrepreneurs. That’s why Tec graduate sisters Giovanna and Viviana Jiménez, together with friend and partner Kay Brawn, created the Womenly platform.
According to the latest report from independent Mexican organization The Failure Institute, which studies entrepreneurship and the reason why businesses fail, 75% of startups shut down after only two years.
However, the spirit of the Womenly platform is: Women do better together.
“When you’re an entrepreneur, you lack everything. You want to put your questions to someone who’s already done what you’re doing, you want to get advice from someone trustworthy, and have a support group and resources to grow: that’s Womenly,” says startup founder Giovanna Jiménez.
This platform for female entrepreneurs was founded at the end of 2018. The following year, it already had a solid interface and a marketplace to upload products.
After a market analysis in 2020, the page was relaunched with a new design and the ability to make secure payments.
“About 1.3 million women lost their jobs due to the Covid-19 pandemic. These women entered the world of micro-entrepreneurship and we wanted to support them,” explains Viviana Jiménez, Marketing Director at Womenly.
Womenly wanted to be a simple platform to facilitate low-contact sales.
“After consulting with big Silicon Valley firms, we incorporated Stripe: the best option to make payments. We had one of the first licenses in Mexico for this technology,” says Giovanna.
Stripe verifies micro-entrepreneurs’ accounts via official documentation so that buyers can be sure accounts are real and reliable, and the same holds true for the entrepreneurs.
Only two out of every ten Mexican entrepreneurs are women and the Womenly team want to close that gender gap by providing quality training.
“Female entrepreneurs have many needs: few of them know how to get funding, develop connections, hire accountants and lawyers, register a trademark, and find a safe community,” says Kay Brawn from Public Relations at Womenly.
Kay also runs Womanpreneur, the platform’s social learning space.
“New businesses don’t survive because of a lack of funding and lack of training, so that’s what we tackle here,” she says.
Womanpreneur has a range of consultants in law, finance, digital marketing, sales, and operations.
Many of the consultants are Tec graduates with certifications. So, these female entrepreneurs can be confident in approaching them to ask questions and learn in each of the different modules.
“We have plans to evolve towards scheduled modules so that you can jump from marketing to brand registration through pre-recorded sessions,” she says.
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Digital visibility is important for female entrepreneurs because it is increasingly difficult to grow on social media.
“The algorithm is constantly changing and the monthly plan costs at least 3,000 pesos, without even considering a website: it’s a budget that female entrepreneurs don’t have,” explains Giovanna.
Womanly Mall is the first storefront in the digital mall: it showcases both those who don’t have web pages and those that do.
“They can promote their products and services in these storefronts without having a website, connect social networks, be contacted by potential customers via WhatsApp, and receive ratings and comments from their customers,” Viviana explains.
The storefronts are organized by location, categories, ranking, comments, and keyword searches.
“We know they’re very passionate about what they do, and the storefronts always have a space for you to explain why you sell what you sell”, adds Gio.
Womenly currently has more than 100 users and it’s this community that helps build the platform.
“We have direct communication with them, and they tell us what they need so the page can evolve,” says Giovanna.
Womenly provides three types of accounts, from the free version to the CLUB account (the most complete version with a monthly cost of $299 pesos), which allows you to receive payments and advertise on Womenly Mall.
After the successful recruitment of 100 founding users (all small business entrepreneurs), they are now ready to offer this digital tool to all Mexican female entrepreneurs looking to grow, say the Womenly business owners.
To create an account, go to www.womenly.com.mx, register with your email address and password, complete the Stripe verification process for receiving online payments, and set up your storefront.
“A country which includes its women in the economy is a more competitive and prosperous country. Mexican women face barriers to entering, staying, and growing in the world of entrepreneurship. Womenly México is a digital platform providing female owners of small enterprises or businesses an all-in-one solution,” says Viviana.