Was the chair uncomfortable or was it the energy in the room?
As the next fledgling entrepreneur prepared to pitch her business, Chris Olsen took a deep breath, slowly exhaled and shifted in her chair. It was a day she had been looking forward to at the nonprofit women’s economic development agency where she worked. Chris had witnessed these women complete an intensive multi-part program that provided them with the tools they needed to successfully launch a business. On the last day of the program, the women were invited to the “Guppy Bowl” to practice pitching their ideas to a panel of investors. But something was amiss.
Why was it so hard for women to share their WHY?
Chris had hoped to see self-confident, well-spoken females share their stories with passion and presence. As a talented writer and storyteller, she had interviewed many of them for entrepreneurial feature articles. These women KNEW their story, but for some reason, when they stood up to tell it at the front of the room, they were unable to clearly and confidently convey their purpose.
Chris knew the odds were already stacked against these women. In the U.S., women receive less than 16 percent of all small business loans and 10 percent of venture capital. Women who do secure funding typically receive less capital and less favorable terms, such as higher interest rates. One of the primary reasons women don’t get the resources they need to launch or grow their enterprise is the inability to effectively communicate their purpose to potential investors, partners and supporters.
So Chris set out to make a difference.
Chris had always found female entrepreneur stories inspiring. She loved interviewing driven women and crafting their stories to hook the reader from the get-go. When it came to writing their professional biographies, Chris didn’t believe in simply listing off accomplishments. Instead, she aimed to honor her interviewee’s story by taking the reader by the hand and guiding her on a journey—inviting her to come along for the thrilling ride of entrepreneurship.
With this passion for storytelling and empowering women, Chris launched My Founder Story in 2018. Her company develops and provides resources that use the power of storytelling to support female business founders. Through her Whyography Workshops, Chris and her team gently guide participants through a process of how to discover and share their WHY, which sets them up for entrepreneurial success. The ultimate goal of My Founder Story is to establish an empowered, confident community of women who courageously share their story with the world.