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Launching While Female: Smashing the System That Holds Women Entrepreneurs Back

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An exposé of the gender gap in entrepreneurship and a road map for a more inclusive and economically successful future for us all Journalist and professor Susanne Althoff investigates the obstacles women and nonbinary entrepreneurs--especially those of color--face when launching, funding, and growing their companies, obstacles that persist because the current start-up world An exposé of the gender gap in entrepreneurship and a road map for a more inclusive and economically successful future for us all Journalist and professor Susanne Althoff investigates the obstacles women and nonbinary entrepreneurs--especially those of color--face when launching, funding, and growing their companies, obstacles that persist because the current start-up world was engineered by and for white men. Through interviews with over a hundred founders across the country and in all industries, Althoff paints a picture of an entrepreneurial system rife with bias and discrimination, where women receive less than 3 percent of this country's venture capital, struggle to find mentors in the wake of #MeToo, and are dismissed as "mompreneurs." The effects of this unequal system--a weaker economy, fewer jobs, less innovation--are felt by all of us, and Althoff explains how more equitable structures in business and entrepreneurship will benefit all people, not just those hoping to fund a startup. By exploring some of the practical ways we can open the entrepreneurial system to everyone, Althoff provides a rallying cry and a way forward for women entrepreneurs and their allies, showing that change is urgent and within our reach.


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An exposé of the gender gap in entrepreneurship and a road map for a more inclusive and economically successful future for us all Journalist and professor Susanne Althoff investigates the obstacles women and nonbinary entrepreneurs--especially those of color--face when launching, funding, and growing their companies, obstacles that persist because the current start-up world An exposé of the gender gap in entrepreneurship and a road map for a more inclusive and economically successful future for us all Journalist and professor Susanne Althoff investigates the obstacles women and nonbinary entrepreneurs--especially those of color--face when launching, funding, and growing their companies, obstacles that persist because the current start-up world was engineered by and for white men. Through interviews with over a hundred founders across the country and in all industries, Althoff paints a picture of an entrepreneurial system rife with bias and discrimination, where women receive less than 3 percent of this country's venture capital, struggle to find mentors in the wake of #MeToo, and are dismissed as "mompreneurs." The effects of this unequal system--a weaker economy, fewer jobs, less innovation--are felt by all of us, and Althoff explains how more equitable structures in business and entrepreneurship will benefit all people, not just those hoping to fund a startup. By exploring some of the practical ways we can open the entrepreneurial system to everyone, Althoff provides a rallying cry and a way forward for women entrepreneurs and their allies, showing that change is urgent and within our reach.

52 review for Launching While Female: Smashing the System That Holds Women Entrepreneurs Back

  1. 5 out of 5

    Josiane Stratis

    I wish i had read this book at the begenning of my journey. It's so true. I wish we had more data on female and gender creative Canadian to back up some of the experience that i saw and lived. I wish i had read this book at the begenning of my journey. It's so true. I wish we had more data on female and gender creative Canadian to back up some of the experience that i saw and lived.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Denise

    I found myself getting a bit fired up when hearing (listened to the audiobook) about all the statistics that prove women are getting the short end of the stick when it comes to entrepreneurship. I liked how this book encourages women to get out there and start their own business because more women entrepreneurs are needed.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Holly Lebowitz Rossi

    "Launching While Female" is a wonderfully reported, compelling, eye-opening, important new book. There were parts of this book that made me furious (less than 3 percent of all venture capital goes to women and nonbinary entrepreneurs?!). But there is also a lot of hope--actionable hope--in the book, and what I learned is already changing my purchasing habits (Buy from a Black Woman is an amazing resource, for starters). I really admire the way Althoff brings together anecdotes with research and "Launching While Female" is a wonderfully reported, compelling, eye-opening, important new book. There were parts of this book that made me furious (less than 3 percent of all venture capital goes to women and nonbinary entrepreneurs?!). But there is also a lot of hope--actionable hope--in the book, and what I learned is already changing my purchasing habits (Buy from a Black Woman is an amazing resource, for starters). I really admire the way Althoff brings together anecdotes with research and even history. Her approach made for a satisfying read that taught me about the road to this current moment, as well as the current moment itself.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Treadway

    This is an excellent book that will appeal to both business and lay people alike. It's gracefully written, accessible, and well-researched in depicting the challenges faced by women and nonbinary entrepreneurs (in particular those of color) when they set out to launch their own companies. Althoff does a tremendous job of illustrating how a more equitable entrepreneurial system would benefit not only those operating directly inside that system, but society at large. Highly recommend. This is an excellent book that will appeal to both business and lay people alike. It's gracefully written, accessible, and well-researched in depicting the challenges faced by women and nonbinary entrepreneurs (in particular those of color) when they set out to launch their own companies. Althoff does a tremendous job of illustrating how a more equitable entrepreneurial system would benefit not only those operating directly inside that system, but society at large. Highly recommend.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Danielle Brown

    (3.5 / 5 stars) Tl;dr - This is a great book but just not what I wanted it to be. Everything about this book, from the cover to the title to even the subtitle, led me to believe this would be an actionable guidebook for aspiring and active women entrepreneurs. That was simply not the case. Susanne Althoff is a journalist, and that talent for interviewing, researching, and telling people’s stories is shining through in this book. But that’s what most of the book was: telling. I didn’t quite underst (3.5 / 5 stars) Tl;dr - This is a great book but just not what I wanted it to be. Everything about this book, from the cover to the title to even the subtitle, led me to believe this would be an actionable guidebook for aspiring and active women entrepreneurs. That was simply not the case. Susanne Althoff is a journalist, and that talent for interviewing, researching, and telling people’s stories is shining through in this book. But that’s what most of the book was: telling. I didn’t quite understand what the endgame was. It’s a terrific long-form piece of journalism on the gender gap in entrepreneurship. But if the people picking up this book are likely already understanding of, empathetic to, or directly affected by this discrimination, what is this book trying to DO for its readers? I kept turning the page, hoping for a solution, call-to-action, or rallying cry by the end. At times, however, we move so quickly from story to story, it’s as if we are a stone skipping across the surface of the much deeper truth to the evolution of women entrepreneurship. Even in the final chapter, which does highlight resources, potential solutions, and feasible improvements for gender equity in the entrepreneurial space, we spend more time discussing WHAT could make entrepreneurship for U.S. women better, rather than HOW readers should take action. I’d like to reiterate: This is an excellent book. It is well-researched and well-written. The organization of stories and topics flow well from chapter to chapter. And you’d be hard-pressed to find less than three female founders or resources you’ll be Googling when you put the book down. If anything, this book has served as a guide to women entrepreneur role models, prominently featuring the women who made it despite the hurdles they faced. However, I came away with a lot of information and not a lot of guidance on what to DO with that information other than digest it. So I suggest you bear that in mind before you start reading! And if you’re interested in more of a how-to book for women entrepreneurs, I’d recommend “Disrupters” by Dr. Patti Fletcher.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jaime

    Disclaimer: I won this book. Launching While Female made me extremely angry. It was necessary. This is an important book with lots and lots of important information. Every woman in business should read this book, every woman in general should read this book. Every man should read this book as well but that's probably not gonna happen. I recommend this book when you need a fire lit in your belly, and definitely if you want to start a business. Disclaimer: I won this book. Launching While Female made me extremely angry. It was necessary. This is an important book with lots and lots of important information. Every woman in business should read this book, every woman in general should read this book. Every man should read this book as well but that's probably not gonna happen. I recommend this book when you need a fire lit in your belly, and definitely if you want to start a business.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Tim

  8. 5 out of 5

    Nicole Loren Graev

  9. 5 out of 5

    Chris Rys

  10. 5 out of 5

    Nicole-Anne Keyton

  11. 5 out of 5

    Helena Watters

  12. 5 out of 5

    Wallis Chan

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jeanne

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kennedy

  15. 4 out of 5

    Vikki

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sydney Stockton

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kayliegh

  18. 5 out of 5

    Zoe

  19. 4 out of 5

    Cordelia

  20. 4 out of 5

    Dainelle

  21. 5 out of 5

    Mele

  22. 5 out of 5

    Lucianna Wolfstone

  23. 5 out of 5

    Valerie Groth

  24. 5 out of 5

    Tim

  25. 5 out of 5

    Hailey Briggs

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Awa

  27. 4 out of 5

    Missy

  28. 5 out of 5

    prithima

  29. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

  30. 5 out of 5

    Paul Decker

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    Lauren

  32. 5 out of 5

    Mel

  33. 4 out of 5

    Nicole Bross

  34. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Henry

  35. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly Brown

  36. 4 out of 5

    Taryn Brickner

  37. 4 out of 5

    Leo

  38. 5 out of 5

    Laura Walter

  39. 5 out of 5

    Frederick Rotzien

  40. 4 out of 5

    Lori Bennett

  41. 5 out of 5

    Brenda Maki

  42. 4 out of 5

    Leah

  43. 5 out of 5

    AC

  44. 5 out of 5

    Deborah Gerhart

  45. 5 out of 5

    Traci

  46. 4 out of 5

    Carmen Guajardo

  47. 5 out of 5

    Kim Ellis

  48. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Peterson

  49. 4 out of 5

    Brian Hart

  50. 4 out of 5

    Brandie

  51. 4 out of 5

    Micielle

  52. 4 out of 5

    Lady Goodman

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