IWD 2023: Meet the superstar fempreneurs one year on
In 2022, we launched a special edition of our Powered by Namecheap program to celebrate women everywhere for International Women’s Day. We’re rebooting the initiative this year for International Women’s Day 2023. This year, the theme is ‘DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality’, which feels like an incredibly prescient theme, and one we’re already passionate about as a company.
As we prepare to re-launch the campaign, we thought we’d catch up with some of the winners from last year. We’ve helped around 25 women entrepreneurs create or improve websites. We caught up with two of our past winners from our inaugural initiative to talk a bit about their businesses and what has changed since they partnered with Namecheap for their websites.
Meet our past winners
Our interviewees come from completely different walks of life, and use their websites for very different reasons, but the thing they have in common is that they are both women entrepreneurs who inspired us with their uniqueness and determination. Maybe they will inspire you too.
Andrea started Kuchriments, a business that shares the unique Belize Kriol culture and language. Part of this is imparting the message of the proverbs she grew up hearing in her village. “My children loved hearing the stories and proverbs, and so that inspired me to begin this journey,” she says.
Chinmayi is a neuroscientist who is using her new website to showcase her portfolio. “It allows me to share my neuroscience journey with youth from around the world as well as amplify resources for aspiring scientists, innovators, and entrepreneurs,” she says.
Where inspiration is born
Andrea and Chinmayi may have totally different backgrounds and areas of expertise, but they share something in common with each other and all entrepreneurial types. The inspiration required to create. But where does it start?
For Andrea, it was bringing the traditional proverbs she grew up with to a new generation of people who would find them useful in their own lives. As she tells us, “A proverb or expression was almost always included in conversations, in a scolding or telling a story.”
Meanwhile, Chinmayi wants to give Neuroscience a bigger place in public school curriculum and inspire other young people to become interested. She explains:
“Compared to fields such as chemistry or physics, there is limited exposure to neuroscience in public school education. Yet neuroscience is the field that has the most impact on our daily lives, during the time we are awake or asleep.”
This certainly rings true and is a worthy cause to back. She continues:
“Whether through social media content creation, hosting workshops at hackathons, or connecting with multilingual classrooms globally through Zoom, I am passionate about sharing the wonders of the brain with youth and inspiring them to pursue careers exploring the mind, brain, and behavior. My science portfolio website allows me to share my neuroscience journey with youth from around the world as well as amplify resources for aspiring scientists, innovators, and entrepreneurs.”
Why they love what they do
Passions, whether businesses or personal endeavors, always come with benefits. In the case of our two interviewees, their passions have led to some incredible and differing forms of enrichment.
It’s no surprise that Andrea’s business, being very community focused and driven by imparting knowledge, has led to her meeting some amazing people and garnered a huge amount of support for her business. As she describes,
“It’s amazing when strangers reach out to share how much they love what my business is about: how it reminds them of home, and how it is teaching them about their heart language.”
But it’s also led to some surprising developments closer to home. She continues:
“I met my grand aunt, a precious woman who was the last living link to my grandmother, who I never knew before. I would probably never have had that connection if it weren’t for Kuchriments. Being invited to the various morning shows to share about my business has been an unexpected highlight for me as well.”
Chinmayi has seen a similar benefit from her involvement in neuroscience, particularly since the launch of her portfolio website. As she tells us,
“I have had amazing opportunities to connect with like-minded individuals globally who have come across my website and reached out! Some points of connection have led to building mentor-mentee relationships, collaborating on opinion editorials related to the intersection of neuroscience and ethics, and opportunities for showcasing the power of youth involvement in neuroscience as a speaker at several conferences.”
Unique challenges faced as women
It’s no secret that being a woman in business or industry comes with some challenges not faced by men doing the same.
Andrea said these challenges could surface when she seeks funding. “It’s the inability to cross over into the international market due to banking restrictions,” she explains. As well as “finding vendors that are reliable and affordable.” She continues: “juggling my businesses as a work-from-home mother, and still finding time to show up for Kuchriments, can be a challenge.”
For Chinmayi, the challenge is more about the initial perceptions people have. “When most people think of a scientist, they probably don’t picture a 19-year-old woman of color like me,” she explains, but this is something she hopes to tackle head-on by carrying on doing what she’s doing.
“By sharing my voice and experiences as a young Indian-American scientist, I’m hoping to expand the public’s perception of the people behind the scenes of everyday scientific applications while encouraging youth who may feel apprehensive about pursuing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers.”
Andrea believes less talk and more action are crucial steps toward making information more accessible to new groups of people.
“I sat in a workshop beside a young woman who never graduated from high school, but who has an amazing micro business and is doing well. She shyly admitted that a lot of what was shared went over her head and that she felt intimidated at times, so, often hesitated about attending events.”
But she believes nerves like this can be overcome fairly easily. She continues:
“If we are serious about change, we need to become fully engaged with our audience and tailor our presentations so that they are inclusive to everyone, and anyone can take part in the discussions. We have to learn how to speak the language of the people.”
How their new websites have helped
What have their websites helped them achieve since they won Powered by Namecheap sponsorship?
As we mentioned already, Chinmayi has used hers as a springboard to launch important conversations with other scientists. She describes her content as follows:
“My primary research commitments focus on understanding the burden of neurological illnesses such as stroke and brain injury on an individual through a population scale. Brain injuries are unexpected and life-altering, and understanding the conditions involves an equal focus on patient narratives among the community (integrating my medical humanities background), as well as cutting-edge scientific approaches (incorporating my neuro-epidemiology training).
“This is where a science communication perspective enters the scene, as being an impactful scientist involves using interdisciplinary approaches to understand and build empathetic, accessible connections with the communities we are seeking to support. In the end, it’s all about uniting people through understanding our common narratives!”
Similarly, Andrea finds having a website has helped broaden her reach. But it’s especially helpful with those who don’t have a social media presence. As she explains,
“It has also added credibility to my business, and I’m hoping very soon to be able to use it to maximize my product offering and generate more sales. I would love to be able to link my Shop with a payment method that actually works for me; living in Belize makes it difficult to find a viable and convenient option. I would also like to develop downloadable options such as wall prints and e-cards.”
Encouraging others to find inspiration
So far, we’ve looked at what inspired them, and the unique experiences that have come from their businesses, but what advice would they give to other women? Women who have the same drive to achieve — perhaps even an idea ready to go — but are holding off.
“Don’t wait for the ‘right time’ or until you feel ‘ready’,” Andrea says. “Do your research, write down your plans, find a trusted mentor, and get started, even if your knees are shaking.” And she offers further advice: “Don’t be afraid to start small, and don’t compare your beginning with someone else’s journey.”
Meanwhile, for Chinmayi, it’s all about networking. “Connect with peers and mentors who have interests that are different from your own,” she says. Her connections helped her expand what she thought was possible and helped her learn about other sectors. As she describes,
“It is important that we avoid getting caught up in a bubble and instead expand our horizons across different fields. These learning relationships could potentially grow into innovative and interdisciplinary collaborations as well.”
“Comparison is a thief of joy and progress. The more action you take will help to silence the imposter syndrome. Take the time to also invest in yourself, to learn and sharpen your skills because when you know better, you do better. You can do this, yes, you!
“Having a website has helped me to share about Kuchriments with a wider audience, it has also added credibility to my business, and I’m hoping very soon to be able to use it to maximize my product offering and generate more sales.”
Think Powered by Namecheap could help you too? Apply today!
If you’re inspired by Andrea and Chinmayi, why not take a look at some other businesses that got powered by Namecheap?
And if you have a unique idea that needs a website, you too can get a chance to win a free year of domain, hosting, and security by applying for Powered by Namecheap: International Women’s Day edition. The program is open exclusively for women creators until March 15, 2023.
Wow! Good initiative Namecheap.