Future Females is a movement that exists to support female entrepreneurs to level up in their businesses and in their lives. It launched as a single event in Cape Town in 2017 and has grown into a global platform with over 100,000 members from 56 cities around the world. Lauren Dallas, Co-founder and CEO of Future Females, talks about the organisation’s success and how it is empowering female entrepreneurs around the globe.
We are a platform for women who value collaboration over competition, know that their business will only grow as fast as they do – and are willing to put in the work to build the future they want to live in! This is what unites the Future Females community.
Setting the foundation of Future Females
As Founders, we are solving a problem we face ourselves. Back in 2017, myself and my Future Females Co-founder, Cerina had both changed the course of our lives – Cerina moving from working in factories into the start-up world, and me moving from Australia to South Africa. We converged in Cape Town working for the Techstars accelerator.
I was hoping to find like-minded women who were taking action every day to build their businesses – leveraging technology to unashamedly scale the business they had always dreamt of. But out of the 10 companies in the accelerator, there was not a single female Founder, and as I learned more about the ecosystem in South Africa, I learned that this was the rule, rather than the exception.
This ignited a passion in me – I have always wanted women to take up space in this male-dominated environment, and actively grab the opportunities that are available to them. But secondly, on a personal level, since Cerina and I could not find a community of women to be part of, we decided to create one!
We launched Future Females with a simple event in Woodstock, Cape Town, aimed at bringing like-minded women together. We had 80 people turn up, 500 tuning in online, and at the end of the event, someone asked, “will you do this every month?” and we said – HELL YES. From there – Future Females was born!
Basing Future Females out of South Africa
The first time I visited South Africa was three years before – in 2013, and the biggest thing that struck me was the difference in mindset between people in tech here, vs. back in Australia. In South Africa, I sensed the spirit of “work to live”, whereas in Australia I felt I had fallen into the trap of “live to work”.
Secondly, I felt I could make a real difference here! In South Africa, people are hungry, passionate support each other without question, and are also solving very real problems in the country – that’s the type of work I wanted to be part of!
We are so proud of the growth of Future Females – expanding from our base in Cape Town, with our proudly South African female team, to now having a presence in 56 cities, and having graduated over 2,300 women from our training programs!
More than just a female-owned business
The one major factor I would attribute to our success is that we are more than just a business or product – Future Females is a purpose. We exist to drive gender parity and to economically empower women to take control of their own lives – a purpose that unites and energises our community to take action. We have also managed to get great companies like PayFast on board as sponsors who share our vision of empowering young entrepreneurs.
The fact that we actively share our purpose through our marketing, sales, brand, social media, and our team members is how we have been able to attract our 160+ global ambassadors that run monthly events for our community. It is also how we have managed to scale our social communities without investing a lot in paid marketing and to be able to tap into the network effect that community building offers.
Since COVID it has become even more apparent that people are being very deliberate about where they spend their money, and their time. So, we always focus on sharing the story and purpose that each one of our members can believe in.
Entrepreneurship is a team sport so it is important to find people who share your vision and work together to build something you can be proud of. It does not diminish your own achievement because you are not ‘doing it all yourself’, it will help you get further, faster, and also be a lot more fun in the process.
In 2022, we are launching the first community-led learning platform for Female Founders, where you can access courses, events, challenges and our community fund – jump on the waitlist here!