Blooming Founders is breaking down the barriers which hold back female founders. They aim to foster innovation and transform the startup ecosystem to make it more inclusive and diverse. Blooming Founders is looking for introductions to investors and corporates that want to support female entrepreneurs.
Our interview with Lu, Founder of Blooming Founders
Describe your mission in a sentence or two
We have a vision of the world where women are empowered and enabled to turn their ideas into reality and build a profitable business.
We are on a mission to create a more inclusive and diverse startup ecosystem and foster innovation around the female economy.
Who are your clients?
Early stage female entrepreneurs who have started a business venture and lack either knowledge or connection or just don’t want to build it alone from home.
What stage are you at in your business?
Depending on the business activity, we are in different stages. We’ve been running events for the past 4 years and they are very established now. Our co-working space is a rather new part of the business and we have seen validation of the concept, but are still working on some things to make it fully scalable.
What is your business model? (in particular talking about how you marry profit and purpose)
Our business model comprises of three parts:
- The coworking space generates membership fees, meeting room and space hire revenue
- Our events generate ticket sales and sponsorship revenue
- We offer events management and marketing services to corporates and government bodies and are paid project fees.
We turn everything we do into products or services with reasonable prices, and by doing that we don’t have to overcharge our customers for one thing, while offering a range of free activities which people might not value as much. We found that this is the best combination to marry profit and purpose.
What does "Impact" mean to you as a profit-driven company?
Impact to us means making the startup journey for female founders somewhat easier and more successful. This could mean knowledge for some and connections for others.
What are the metrics you will use to track/measure your impact?
At the moment, we are only tracking the number of attendees to our events, but we are looking into tracking confidence, knowledge and usefulness of connections in the future when we have more resources to do so.
What is the vision for the company?
To become the go-to-brand for entrepreneurial women and build a global ecosystem (workspaces, events, incubation services) to power the female economy of the future.
What is your current biggest challenge and how are you seeking to address it?
We are looking to figure out the most effective channels for customer acquisition, so we are currently testing a few different ways to see what’s best.
What are you most proud of/excited about for your business?
I’m most proud of the fact that we have built a very positive and trusted brand and I’m excited about the fact that we’re still in the early stages of realising the potential of the female economy, so there is a ton of room to grow and more people and institutions to be involved!
What kind of partnerships do you have in place to grow your business?
We have very good relationships with VCs who want to see more female founders and also some corporates who have been supporting our events financially. We also have a fantastic relationship with the HULT International Business School where we source a lot of our interns from.
What do you see as the role of big Corporates in the Impact space?
Corporates have the funds to support impact initiatives and I think they should partner with more startups, who are on the frontline delivering the impact in innovative ways, versus giving it to the big charities who are slow and sometimes not much in touch with real needs.
What does “diversity” mean in practice for your company?
Diversity means creating different things for different consumer needs, so these consumers are served better. At Blooming Founders, we focus on gender diversity in the startup ecosystem, but we try to be as inclusive as possible. Our co-working space, for example, has been created for women but is also open to men who align with our community.
What does 2030 look like in your mind?
We will have a lot more women who have successfully exited a company and become angel investors. There will also be investmore funds focusing on women and other ‘minority’ founders.
What other UK impactful start-up do you love and why?
I hate food waste, so I love startups like OLIO. My personal favourite currently is Karma, which has been founded by a female founder in Sweden and recently launched in the UK.
Karma helps small eateries and restaurants sell food that they prepare on the day and that would otherwise go to waste by offering everything at 50% off. It’s now my go to for late lunches or dinner and I have recommended it to everyone in our co-working space!
What’s next for your company?
We are looking into scaling the coworking space to more locations around London. We are also working on an incubation project to help a group of female founders with more hands-on support.
How can the SeedTribe community be involved in helping you scale your impact?
We would love to speak to investors next year when we decide to start our fundraise, but in the meantime we very much welcome introductions to corporates who want to sponsor the education and growth of female entrepreneurs.
To contact Lu, send us an email and we will put you in touch.