Online Marketplace Empowers Women to Launch Startups

Entrepreneurship is the new women’s movement.

From the perspective of a female-founded startup, women need access to a key element for growing a business – trusted referrals. Today, Halifax based startup, Vendeve is unveiling an online referral network for women entrepreneurs.

Vendeve is a community marketplace driven by referrals. Unlike other online platforms, it’s a place for women in business to share expertise, reach out for help, and build relationships.

“We all know that business is about building relationships. And relationships are built on trust. But in today’s insanely noisy digital world, trust is hard-earned. And that’s what makes Vendeve so special,” says Katelyn Bourgoin, co-founder and CEO.

Acquired by a free invite-only membership, Vendeve’s web community forum allows members to earn points from other members for contributing to conversations. These are called Street Cred points.
The more Street Cred you earn, the more often your profile will appear in the expert directory, which is the first place members look to hire freelance consultants.

Points are given by members for asking good questions, for example, or having their answers to questions up voted by others. Soon, members will be able to earn Street Cred points for certain topics and expertise.

“Women are starting businesses at the fastest rate in history. And we wanted to create a community where women could support each other in tough times, celebrate the wins, and connect with their ideal clients or experts to help grow their businesses,” says Bourgoin.

The more women engage on Vendeve, the more clients their profile will be matched with. The motto is simple: help others, earn points, and get more leads for your business.

After first launching in late February of this year, Vendeve redirected focus to become an online web network, with plans to expand to the mobile market.

“For many years women had to choose between their careers or their families, but that is changing. Today, women are building online businesses from their laptops,” says Bourgoin.

The ladies at Vendeve are currently participating in the Mill Startup Accelerator in Las Vegas, which helps seed-stage companies focused on developing customer service culture.

“We chose this accelerator because Vegas is very female-founder friendly,” says Bourgoin.

Their pitch will be to provide an avenue for women to build strong networks. In doing so, the goal after today is to make Vendeve a daily habit for all women entrepreneurs.

As for their long-term vision, Bourgoin says her dream is to bring Vendeve to the developing world.

“Women are already recognized as the greatest untapped resource. And we know that by working together, women can build meaningful businesses that will change the world.”