College graduates today will be more entrepreneurial than ones of the past. The opportunities are broader than ever before, the ability to start your own company is easier, the variety of jobs where you can make enough cash while figuring out what you are really interested in on a daily basis is available and people now more than ever are looking for ownership of their own destiny.
I spoke with a young woman this past week who had built her own company while going to law school, started her own firm and eventually jumped ship to only spend time in her start-up. What I loved about her company is that not only has she found product market fit, she is essentially profitable. She could raise money to grow or just continue to boot-strap by pouring her profits back into the business. Could the business be a billion dollar business? Maybe but could it be a business that feeds her lifestyle, absolutely.
The other day I had the pleasure of being a judge for the Tory Burch Fellowship. Hundreds of women applied to this and they narrowed it down to 10 women. Each of these women is incredible. They have each built businesses that are making money. Some of them have raised capital and others have not. Their vision and passion are inspiring. What really struck me is how 9 of the 10 businesses were not your classic start-ups. Most were consumer product focused through products to experiences and most of them were not from your start-up communities. Each of them is making it and could easily continue onward with their scrappy attitudes to build lifestyle businesses or perhaps bigger businesses.
I seriously applaud Tory for what she is doing here. She has built a mega-brand over the course of the past 12 years and is giving back to women by giving advice, support and counsel to the female fellows who go through this program so regardless who wins, they all win. The top winner gets a loan of $50K and $50K as a gift.
Women who rise to the top must do more of this to help give other women advice, perhaps capital and community so that we can create more female-led businesses. Just a guess but the real winner here is Tory as she must feel quite amazing about what she is doing with her foundation. She should.