AUSTIN, Texas, Sept. 27, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Today Women@Austin™, the organization advancing and empowering successful women entrepreneurs, announced that it is joining Notley's ecosystem of social impact companies. Founded in 2014 by Jan Ryan and a group of experienced women founders and leaders, Women@Austin has been an all-volunteer led organization until today, galvanized around a single vision -- to accelerate the success of high-growth female entrepreneurship in Austin through mentoring, access to role models, and a focus on the networks crucial for funding.
With the help of Notley's team and full-time resources, Women@Austin will be able to equip more women entrepreneurs with what they need to be successful through more frequent and impactful events and programs. With this new level of operational excellence, participants can expect additional and more consistent opportunities to build their capabilities while broadening the connections that have made Women@Austin so impactful over the past 4 years.
"I'm delighted that Women@Austin is joining Notley's social impact ecosystem," said Jan Ryan, serial entrepreneur and Founder of Women@Austin. "There is unique alignment on our vision – to help make Austin the most accessible, supportive city in the nation for women-led business. With over 1,000 women in the network, full-time resources will greatly amplify the consistency and scale of services, as well as give us the opportunity to explore new ways of expanding our impact."
Before Women@Austin, women entrepreneurs operated out of silos, limited by the scope of their network and experience. Since launching in 2014, Women@Austin has been a force of positive change, bringing women together by empowering them to change the old rules of how business is done and equipping them with the skills necessary to succeed in their journey. Women@Austin now serves as an essential meeting place for women entrepreneurs to do everything from find their next co-founder, to receive important introductions, to engage with mentors and role models.
Aligned in their mission to make Austin the Social Innovation Capital™, Notley and Women@Austin recognize the immense economic and social impact women can have in their communities. Not only do women-led companies create 41% higher return on equity and generate 56% better operating results, companies with gender diverse management teams exhibit increased profitability according to McKinsey. Women also invest 90% of their income back into their families, compared with 35% for men. The untapped economic opportunity women represent for the global economy and communities around the world cannot be disputed.
"Notley couldn't be more excited to have Women@Austin join our social impact ecosystem. We believe women entrepreneurs represent an immense opportunity to create economic growth and positive social change," said Dan Graham, Co-Founder of Notley. "Ultimately, by better equipping women to start and operate successful companies, we will scale the impact they can have in our communities."
The addition of Women@Austin represents a continuation of Notley's long history of championing women entrepreneurs and leaders. To date, Notley is the lead investor of The Refinery, a creative coworking community founded by Hayley Swindell and home to numerous women-owned companies. The company has also led investments in local, women-led companies including Wondercide Natural Products and Kammok.
Continuing to help direct Women@Austin is the Steering Committee, a tightly-knit group of experienced entrepreneurs and business women setting direction for the organization, and exploring ideas and innovations that will help drive growth for women in the region. The Steering Committee operates as a trusted peer group for executive women to problem-solve and discuss challenges in their own careers. With the help of Notley, an expanded Steering Committee will be created to envision opportunities on a go forward basis, identifying gaps and accelerating opportunities for women.
"It's more important than ever that our entrepreneurial landscape include diverse points of view and approaches," said Heather Brunner, CEO of WP Engine and Women@Austin Steering Committee member. "Notley is set to supercharge Women@Austin's impact and create a business environment that supports greater diversity and greater opportunity."
Looking forward, Notley will be extending resources to amplify the impact of women entrepreneurs through Women@Austin's programs and events. To start, new resources will include a central calendar for women-led events, educational programs and events, and a central database for potential female board candidates. Notley and Women@Austin will also be adding new collaborations with external groups, including male ally organizations and investment firms, that likewise support the mission of Women@Austin.
Women@Austin currently operates quarterly events including Venture Dinners with local investors, and Roundtable events with featured guest speakers covering topics of importance to Austin's growing community of women entrepreneurs. As part of Women@Austin's merge with Notley, members of the community are invited to attend and learn more about Women@Austin during the Austin Startup Week Social Impact Track on October 2 co-hosted by Notley and Techstars Impact Accelerator at The Center for Social Innovation. Go here to register to attend.