There are various themes and interpretations, but at its core Feminist Entrepreneurship is the pursuit of gender equality through entrepreneurial ventures that are founded on ethical and intersectional feminist principles.
“Entrepreneurial feminism, developed from social feminism, is a theory that explains how feminist values are enacted through the venture creation process to improve the position of women in society. Coined by Barbara Orser and Catherine Elliott, entrepreneurship is viewed as a mechanism to create economic self-sufficiency and equity-based outcomes for girls and women.
Entrepreneurial feminists enter commercial markets to create wealth and social change, based on the ethics of cooperation, equality, and mutual respect.”
Using Entrepreneurship as a Tool for Social Change
To expand on that, feminist entrepreneurs use entrepreneurship as a means of creating social change and building a more equitable world for women, Indigenous people, people of colour, and other marginalized groups such as the LGBTQ2+ community, people with disabilities, etc.
What Does Feminist Entrepreneurship Look Like for Bloom + Brilliance?
As a feminist, a woman, a member of the Manitoba Métis and LGBTQ2+ communities, and a business owner, I believe in:
- contributing to an inclusive, equitable and sustainable economy
- paying contractors and vendors fair rates and living wages
- prioritizing work-life balance for myself, my clients, and any contractors and vendors I work with
- offering accessible and inclusive pricing and payment options for services and products provided
- ethical sales practices (no hard sell, shaming or “pain-point” tactics)
- practicing generosity with financial support and pro-bono services for charities, non-profits and organizations that share similar values
- leveraging my experience, knowledge and skills to support communities, organizations and businesses that share similar values
- acknowledging how privilege has shaped my own lived experiences
- expanding the definition of success to include metrics other than financial wealth and conspicuous consumption
- the principle of abundance (there is enough for all of us) versus the myth of scarcity that patriarchal capitalism relies on
- the processes of Indigenization, Decolonization and Reconciliation
- supporting political movements that promote: gender and racial equity, robust solutions to poverty and homelessness, expanding public services, protecting our natural resources, investing in sustainable and environmentally-conscious initiatives, making higher education accessible to all, and more.
- mixing the personal with the political with business
For more information and resources on Entrepreneurial Feminism (and a list of fantastic organizations for feminist entrepreneurs!), check out my post: Helping Women Thrive: A Feminist Framework for Entrepreneurship.