Learn about the impacts these female-led startups are making on our world
There are only 51 startups listed under ‘social good’ on AngelList. If you were to research how many of those are led by women, you would most likely only find a hand full of them. Often people think of a startup as only tech-related and not necessarily for the greater good. That is why I looked into this topic. I want the world to know that there is an increasing number of social good startups led by women. Four of these include Dilectae, Parachute Kids, Lady Patch, and Juno Jones Shoes. The causes they each serve range widely, from literacy education to family activity accessibility to helping with female bladder dysfunction to women’s safety footwear.
Emma Pauncefort is leading the company, Dilectae. The name comes from — ‘Dilectae’ — from the Latin meaning literally, ‘those things which are valued/ held dear’. Her company’s mission is to leverage new technologies to develop a tool to nurture deep, everyday literacy in young people and empower them to make decisions about the content they read. Pauncefort believes there is a huge need for the tool given the current educational context, the bewildering mass of misinformation online, as well as the predominant focus of most EdTech companies that look for the lucrative ‘low hanging fruit’, rather than focusing on developing a deeply educational tool. She also believes that the abuse of data and dissemination of misinformation as revealed in the ‘The Great Hack’ this week should also make us turn our attention to education and how we prepare young people to play their role as upstanding citizens in our C21st society.
Dilectae is not simply an exam preparation machine. It can help students prepare for formal assessments, whether it be public or university examinations. However, this work is underpinned by its pedagogical commitment to ensure students of any age understand the process of learning and develop this as a core skill. The company is comprised of a group of tutors working under the aegis of the tutoring cooperative Dilectae. They work as a cooperative. They function as a team of working professionals who are committed pedagogues and ourselves life-long learners. This group knows each other’s skills and abilities. They can vouch for each other’s good character. This is how they engender deep mutual respect, which allows them to work together to bring quality and commitment to an industry that has boomed in recent years with little regulation.
Desiree Vargas Wrigley is leading Pearachute Kids. She aims to build the world’s largest marketplace for family experiences. Pearachute Kids exists to help families step away from screens to spend more meaningful time together while at the same time helping primarily women-owned, local businesses thrive. The following activity categories are offered on the Pearachute website: Drop-ins, Camps, Sessions, Birthday, Community-related, and Special Events. Pearachute is like “Groupon” catered only to parents and their children.
One of the perks for parents using Pearachute, is that it offers Credits. Credits are the currency used on Pearachute to make it easy to book experiences all over the U.S. (and Canada soon!). Think of them like airline miles. You can purchase them and you can earn them, and then you can spend them on activities, experiences, perks, and vouchers. Credits start at $3.75 per credit. You can save money by purchasing credits in bulk in one of our Flex Packs. If you’re in one of its first markets (Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Kansas City, and Washington, D.C.), you have the option of additional savings by purchasing one of its monthly subscriptions.
Cindy Santa Cruz is leading Lady Patch. The company is located in El Segundo, CA. Lady Patch is a drug-free feminine patch that stops bladder leaks and the frequent urge to urinate. One-third of women have some form of bladder dysfunction… and Lady Patch is here to help.
The founders of Lady Patch believe women should be in control of their bladders, not the other way around. It’s not ok to plan our days around the nearest ladies’ room or have a little leakage — which is a lot uncomfortable. This is why they created an effective and empowering way to control the female bladder. Lady Patch® is now readily available on Amazon for women to purchase with ease.
Junor Jones Shoes
Emily Soloby is the founder of the company, Junior Jones Shoes. Her company is creating beautiful performance safety footwear for women. Its mission is to create safe footwear options for women and to help normalize the idea of women in nontraditional fields. Junor Jones is committed to supporting women interested or working in these fields through Juno Jones, and also through its community, Hazard Girls (www.hazardgirls.com).
Junor Jones is collaborating with women in construction, the sciences, professional kitchens, real estate, architecture, engineering, manufacturing, and many other industries to create new options in safety footwear, and to inspire women along the way to follow their passions in male-dominated fields.
Hazard Girls will be holding a STEM panel discussion in the Philadelphia area on Sept. 16th, open to the public. Juno Jones will be honored to present the Tradeswoman of the Year award on Sept. 26, 2019, at the Women in Industry Conference in Chicago. Boots will be launching on Kickstarter in October, so keep a lookout for it there!
This is just a small sample of female-led businesses with missions to improve the lives of people in one way or another. I encourage you to keep an eye out for more businesses with missions on improving the social-good or those working toward improving the environment. You will find there are more than you think. Share what you learn so other people see and can benefit from what they are doing, or support them. Starting a business is no small task, and many startups end up failing, so if there is one with a mission you believe in, see how you can help bring its mission to reality. Often, just getting the word out can be a big help.
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