I'll admit that I often have mixed emotions when I hear about a startup, accelerator, pitch competition, or whatever else that is exclusively for female entrepreneurs and founders. On the one hand, I love that people are interested in encouraging women as entrepreneurs and helping them attain a somewhat level playing field with men; but on the other hand, it saddens me that women aren't naturally considered equal in the entrepreneurial world and can often benefit from a bit of a boost. I could easily go down the rabbit hole of my rather idyllic opinions on equality (i.e. equality shouldn't have to be promoted, it should just be), but that's another post (or series of posts) for another day.
Vendeve is an online referral network for women entrepreneurs. The service offers recommendations to women, from other women who have been down the entrepreneurial road. It helps connect women entrepreneurs with freelancers, the best tools, experts and mentors, and even potential clients.
Started by Katelyn Bourgoin (who ran a successful PR company for several years before starting Vendeve) and Calee Blanchard, this startup out of Nova Scotia launched quietly in early 2015 and just recently launched worldwide. So far Vendeve seen traffic from 42 countries.
“I built Vendeve because it's the tool that I wish existed when I started my own freelance business six years ago,” said Bourgoin in a statement. “We want to change the way women do business, which will change how the world does business. We can't wait to share Vendeve with the world.”
And because some people need incentives to be helpful to others, there are perks offered for referrals. When users give great answers or advice in the Vendeve forum, they will receive “Street Cred” points that can raise their ranking as an expert. And obviously, being known as an expert in something is good PR, so by offering advice to others, they can help their own business grow.
Aside from their expanded launch, Vendeve is also currently participating in the Mill Startup Accelerator in Las Vegas.