FLIK is a platform & community hub connecting female founders/leaders and students across the world via meaningful apprenticeships. Founders get helping hands on their businesses - everything from software development to marketing and between - and a network of powerful leaders. Students volunteer in startups to gain career-relevant experience, skills training, mentorship, and peer learning. These meaningful connections amongst entrepreneurial womxn are elevating womxn-led ventures globally.
In Business Since 2019
Best Youth Entrepreneur
What motivated you to start your business and what is your vision for the future of your company?
Growing up in immigrant households, we were always encouraged to pursue the “steady paths” like law, or accounting - entrepreneurship was never a path presented to us. We never thought we could be founders even, since all the entrepreneurs represented in the media were the likes of Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, and Bill Gates. As womxn of color, we didn’t grow up with founder role models who looked like us or resonated with our identity. When we both accidentally fell into an entrepreneurship accelerator a couple of years ago and realized less than 18% of our cohort were women, we knew the gender disparity in entrepreneurship had to change. We are our demographic. We have been on the female student and female entrepreneur side of this problem, completely understanding the needs of both, especially for WOC. We grew up struggling with the lack of female representation in entrepreneurship and as female founders we struggled to find a community offering tangible resources. According to Pitchbook, female founder funding has hit a three year low. Yet, according to Crunchbase, female-founded global startups have doubled in the last 10 years. Female founder fundraising and resources have been disproportionately affected by events like COVID-19 this year. More than ever, the female founders of today need dedicated resources to continue building their companies and our vetted apprentices and founder-focused events fill this need. Similarly, students need career-relevant experiences due to so many having been rescinded because of COVID-19, and through FLIK they get unparalleled experience with startups and receive meaningful mentorship from female founder role models. We’ve built the community we wish we had when we were younger. FLIK aims to elevate entrepreneurial womxn across the world to create complete equity in the space through our apprenticeship portal, tailored community spaces and resources specific to our diverse community (especially BIPOC womxn), and eventually a venture arm to invest into early-stage female founders with impact-focused ventures. We will grow to be the most comprehensive resource accelerating womxn through the founder pipeline globally, serving 100,000+ womxn.
Why do you deserve to win the Best Youth Entrepreneur award?
Since January 2020, we’ve bootstrapped FLIK into a high-growth social impact-focused startup. We have brought resources to tens of thousands of entrepreneurial womxn across the world, matched over 1900+ womxn in apprenticeships, and received over 6000 applications from over 54 countries - all through word of mouth. We are redefining who can be an entrepreneur, what an entrepreneur looks like, and what it means to be an entrepreneur. By leveraging technology, we have been able to build a diverse community of global womxn, elevating each other through the female founder pipeline. We have partnered with some of the top founder organizations including 500 Startups, Dreamers & Doers, Canadian Women’s Chamber of Commerce, Forum of Women Entrepreneurs, the51, and more, to continue our mission of accelerating womxn-led ventures globally. Projected to make $600,000 in revenue this upcoming year, we have proven that youth can create powerful and positive change, while building high-growth startups. Our vision for FLIK is to become the comprehensive resource for accelerating womxn through the female founder pipeline. We are going to globally expand the apprenticeship portal, and as we build out our female founder resources we will be akin to an accelerator with a perfect pipeline to put capital into early-stage female-founded startups. We will be the leading company with insights into female founders all the way from apprentices to founders. FLIK actively works towards the following SDG’s: quality education, gender equality, decent work and economic growth, and reduced inequalities. We are directly and quantifiably impacting womxn’s access to opportunity, education, and employment opportunities. Womxn have been inspired to start their own business after completing an apprenticeship; they have been hired by the female founder/leader they apprenticed under; they have learned skills training in a real world setting beyond the borders of the classroom; and they have gained access to expansive networks in their dream industries. Most importantly, we have built a community where womxn feel encouraged to strive for their wildest dreams and where they are safe to express and share about their diverse backgrounds. Ultimately, we are proud that we have been able to stick by our mission to advance womxn’s economic participation and accelerate womxn-led ventures globally and elevate thousands of womxn globally.