How can we encourage more women to become entrepreneurs? The Girl Starter team hypothesizes that it starts by encouraging young women to become entrepreneurs and providing them with mentorship and resources.

Jeannine Shao Collins is the co-creator of TLC’s new reality competition series Girl Starter and cofounder and co-CEO of the multi-platform company with the same name. The television show features eight young female entrepreneurs who are competing for $100,000 of seed funding and resources. The young women participate in challenges designed by mentors, investors, business leaders and celebrities as they proceed through the Girl Starter curriculum for building a company: start it, plan it, prove it, build it, brand it and fund it.


What I mean by “impostor” is that she feels like an impostor. Despite all the accolades from her peers, despite all her skills and abilities and her meteoric rise within the company, in her mind she believes it’s only a matter of time before everyone discovers that she’s “faking it.” Rather than offering assurance, each new achievement and subsequent challenge only serves to intensify her ever-present fear of being found out.

There’s a name for this phenomenon: Impostor Syndrome. Research that began in 1978 with the work of psychotherapists Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes found that many women with notable achievements also had high levels of self-doubt. This deep lack of confidence–which couldn’t be equated with anxiety or other disorders–appeared to involve a deep sense of inauthenticity and an inability to internalize their successes.


Why is social capital so important for women? Your social capital consists of networks and contacts that can help you secure information, expertise, opportunities, and needed resources such as financial capital. Traditionally, women entrepreneurs have not been a part of many important “old boys” networks in the world of business, and it is only recently that they have begun to penetrate those networks while also building their own. Thus, women are still playing “catch-up” on the social capital front.

Huffington Post


Whether it’s breaking the glass ceiling or battling stereotypes, no one’s denying women have come a long way. But we still have a long way to go.

From pitching to investors who are used to defining “entrepreneurs” as young, white, and male to tuning out the self-doubt that tears your confidence apart, below eight successful women entrepreneurs share how they take down the roadblocks in their way.

Cher Wang, co-founder and chairperson of HTC Corporation

“You have to keep moving–and you need to be ready and willing to change course in order to realize your vision.”

Wang says that, whatever happens, the one thing that never changes is her willingness to be on the edge and stay true to herself. “I prefer to inspire my people and, in turn, be inspired by them in order to create what I hope will be incredible outcomes that will change society for the better. That’s not just what HTC’s all about. It’s what I personally believe and what my team needs to believe as we continue to push.”

Fast Company