The Internet is a funny little playground. Playing in it are a mixture of people – brands that have been around for hundreds of years such as The Times, Cadbury’s and Burberry, and ones that are knee high to a grasshopper like Facebook, Amazon and HelloGiggles. And all that separates these kids in the internet playground is the address that you type in at the top of the screen.
The Internet has made it easier to set up a business that can reach a large number of people in various geographic locations and lots of people are taking advantage of it. Lots of the online companies that we love and that tend to make the headlines are founded by men (like Facebook buying WhatsApp the other month) and so here on HelloGiggles, this website founded by women, I wanted to celebrate some female internet entrepreneurs and the products they’ve created.
Hayley Barna and Katia Beauchamp of Birchbox
The idea of Birchbox seems so simple and fantastic that it makes you kind of annoyed that you didn’t think of it yourself. Hayley and Katia met at Harvard Business School and soon realised that there were specific problems the beauty world faced with online retail – the fact that you couldn’t test the product to make sure it suited you (hello, sensitive skin) before committing to buying it online. And so Birchbox was founded. It’s sort of like an ‘of the month’ club where a range of products get sent to your door but, thanks to the internet, you have the opportunity for interaction. So you can give Birchbox feedback about the things you liked in your box and you can visit the website for tips on how to use the products as well as being able to buy full products of the samples you received.
Carly Zakin and Danielle Weisberg of TheSkimm
Carly and Danielle left their jobs at NBC news to start TheSkimm out of their apartment and after announcing in November that they’d raised $1.1million in funding and hiring their first employees shortly after, it seems their bravery has paid off. TheSkimm is a daily email newsletter aimed at twenty-something women (but not to the extent that it wouldn’t appeal to your dad, too) that takes the day’s main news and repackages it into a more digestible format. TheSkimm gives you the main topics and provides links to news stories so that you can read the stories that capture your eye in more depth. Carly and Danielle have taken a problem of the internet, that it can produce an often overwhelming amount of news, and used the internet to provide a fun, curated solution.
Jennifer Donogh of YoungFemaleEntrepreneurs
Some of you reading this might be young female entrepreneurs yourself (tell us your business in the comments, I’d love to hear about it) and I can only imagine how tricky it can be to try and grow your business and make connections, even in this online age of connectedness. Enter stage left Jennifer Donogh and YFE which uses the internet to connect female entrepreneurs in their 20s and 30s to each other, brands, people and ideas that can help them grow their business. Jennifer hosts live daily webcasts called #JennCast (she also owns another company, Ovaleye, that produces live webcasts) and these look at topics such as how to drive traffic to your site using Pinterest and being your own brand editor. Not only is Jennifer a female internet entrepreneur but she’s also helping others to become one.
Alaina Kaczmarski and Danielle Moss of The The Everygirl
Alaina and Danielle only hung out with each other a few times before the idea for The Everygirl was hatched from them wanting to create a site that spotlighted and contained career profiles for real girls, for Everygirls. As well as having the career profiles (my favourite feature on the site, you can get stuck in an inspiration loop for hours), the site also runs articles on fashion and beauty, restaurants, home tours and more and has just recently hired some new editors. Alaina and Danielle have used the internet to build a lifestyle brand from scratch, something that would’ve been a lot harder, and a lot less interactive, before the internet came along.
Are there any female internet entrepreneurs that inspire and amaze you? Are you a female internet entrepreneur yourself?
Featured image via ShutterStock