An open letter to our fellow female founders and business leaders,
The U.S. has more than 12.3 million women-owned businesses, generating over $1.3 billion per year. Nearly half of all startups in 2021 were created by women. What’s even more inspiring, 64 percent of new women-owned businesses in 2022 were started by women of color. There is promise and potential in those numbers. We are hopeful and excited about the future.
The team at GrowthPlay didn’t start with the goal of being a woman-led business. Rather, we set out to build a business model that allowed each of us to thrive. We intentionally designed our business model to drive triple bottom line outcomes: to produce meaningful work, to nurture meaningful business relationships, and to enjoy life beyond work. The result has been that we are a team of women leading a successful business by doing work we love with clients we care about deeply.
While some may find it hard to believe, we saw that our success as a business grew exponentially when we stopped focusing on just the bottom line and put our attention instead on building a business model where each of us could flourish. In this way, we have challenged the traditional wisdom about business—that the path to success is to focus relentlessly on getting more–more money, more clients, more success. We know that this is not the only way.
Women have an opportunity to reshape our country and society’s understanding of what constitutes meaningful work and success in business. We can demonstrate how workplaces can be designed to be places of diverse community and belonging. We look at the world through a different lens.
Women, and in particular women of color, have had to cultivate resourcefulness, resilience, and creativity to be successful. With more women-run businesses and female founders comes a richness of wisdom that impacts decisions that help businesses thrive and that empower people to be their authentic selves and give their best in their work. We’ve seen how this works within our small but mighty team, and we hope to serve as a model that inspires others.
Our advice to other women business owners on International Women’s Day is this: create a business that is authentically and unapologetically a reflection of you and your team. Reflect on what has enabled you to swim upstream when everyone else was headed the other way. Be hypervigilant about protecting and stewarding your values above all. Values will dictate culture, and strategy without culture is never sustainable.
When you do these things, you will find that you’ve built a business of which you feel proud and privileged to be a part. The privilege of working with and being a part of the GrowthPlay team is the greatest gift we’ve ever received.
The Managing Directors at GrowthPlay