#DWA’18: How Online Communities Help Women Entrepreneurs
How important are online communities for startups? In this age of startups, these communities are changing the world of entrepreneurship by forming like-mined groups. Community is at the heart of solutions for nurturing one’s idea. When creative minds come together to share the experience – positive or not – ideas get a boost and new ones are developed. A power-packed panel at SheThePeople.Tv’s Digital Women Awards discussed the need of structuring a Community online and for joining the digital league to channelise fantastic stories for the next generation.
Moderated by Shaili Chopra of SheThePeople, Chetana Misra of Mompreneurs India, Shelley Thakral from Facebook, Krutika Katrat of OoWomaniya and Srishti Sharma of Furball Story sat together to shed some light on the topic.
The conversation started with Shaili Chopra asking the panelists about their experiences with communities.
Krutika said that for her, entrepreneurship happened suddenly. “The idea should be to solve a problem. That’s how you become an entrepreneur. It happened to me like that and the same goes for my mother. Facebook groups helped her set up her own business as well.”
Srishti Sharma, on her part, said, “Being an entrepreneur was never my idea. But I wanted to change things. I wanted to make an impact. Not easy convincing parents at this young age since they want a secure job for us.”
Moving forward in the conversation on how women are using the big online community space, Chopra noted that there’s more discussion coming up on how we can streamline these communities to connect and bond. “Target them to what we need,” said Chopra.
So what are the key challenges entrepreneurs face while scaling up?
According to Chetana Misra, “The primary challenge women face is that they don’t know how to market their products or ideas online. They lack the skill. With this very thought in mind, we at Mompreneurs India are trying to ace that problem women face. Another biggest challenge is cultural gap. All the online networks promote marketing strategy in English. Those who are trying to get the content right in their language lack a space. Women entrepreneurs are good at their jobs but simultaneously these other challenges are creating a gap.”
Chopra asked Shelley Thakral how economic growth is leveraging the entrepreneurial space with the help of digital? What are the steps Facebook is taking to go to the next stage? What are the initiatives being taken for women?
“We learnt that language is the key and, at Facebook, we are changing that surface. Every woman has to have visibility to change the norm around it. We need to have communities online to connect — personality or professionally. Bridge the difference gap,” Thakral said.
Talking further about digital safety and how platforms can be more safe for women, Thakral stressed, “More training is needed. Also, working with NGOs and government is the key. Government-led skilled programs are essentially important for one in order to have safe access to online marketing.”