Over the last 20 years, Houston has evolved into an incredibly vibrant and diverse community, with a talent pool enviable by any major city standards. One of the professional demographics thriving the most is women; especially female entrepreneurs who find at their disposal a wealth of the resources and networks with which to build their businesses.
In this blog post, we’ll meet some of the women-led organizations empowering their peers, and the benefactors breaking new ground in the Houston business arena.
Station Houston is a one-stop shop for tech startups in Houston on a mission to transform the city into a “world-leading hub for technology innovation and entrepreneurship.” The organization offers mentorship, champions, investor access, and connection to other like-minded local entrepreneurs – both male and female.
Station Houston’s founder Grace Rodriguez left in 2018 to help “do-gooders do greater,” by becoming CEO and Executive Director of Impact Hub Houston, part of the global Impact Hub community working to accelerate entrepreneurial solutions that help achieve the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.
Established by three Texas-based businesswomen: Leslie Gold, Diana Murakhovskaya, and Stephanie Campbell, Artemis was established to foster, through investment, women-led businesses in underserved US communities. Based in Houston, the fund launched in 2019 raising $15 million. Today, the fund has 8 world-class investors and founders – of which 5 are female – and 11 investments spanning industries from digital fashion and fintech, to transport services and beauty products.
The WBEA is also a Houston-based network whose mission is “to be the leader in women’s business development.” Their work spans 94 counties in South Texas where they offer scholarships, mentorships, and a full calendar of networking opportunities to majority-female-owned businesses. They are also a certifier for the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), helping women business owners achieve the accreditation which is required by most corporations and governmental agencies as a purchasing criterion.
The idea for Work & Mother came to Abbey Donnell after seeing many of her new mom friends struggling to balance breastfeeding and business. According to the company, 43% of new mothers leave full-time work following childbirth, although 75% originally express an intention to return.
Work & Mother’s goal is to help corporations retain valuable female employees by offering access to onsite fully equipped lactation suites. The service is also accompanied by an app that offers moms information and guidance during the various stages of breastfeeding.
Work & Mother is based in Houston and is part of The Artemis Fund Investment portfolio.
Joining Work & Mother in the Artemis portfolio is Upgrade, a tech-enabled platform offering high-quality, customized wigs and hair products for women who refuse to compromise on beauty due to lack of time.
Started by student Britney Winters who was consistently underwhelmed by overpriced, low-quality hair solutions, the site enables consumers to jump online and customize every aspect of their wig – texture, length, color, highlights and even style – without ever sitting in a stylist’s chair:
Founded by husband-and-wife team, Tapua and Francisca Mutsa Tunduwani, Sage Workspace is a growing US-wide network of high-quality virtual office and co-working spaces. In Houston, Sage offers virtual office services, providing female (and male) entrepreneurs a low-cost way of having a professional presence in downtown Houston and services that help keep home information and tasks separate from business. For more information, go to www.sageworkspace.com and search Houston, TX, virtual office.