Primarily known for its influential scene of bureaucrats and politicians, Washington DC is now transforming into a hub for entrepreneurs and startups with government ties. If you’re teetering on the thought of launching a business in the DC area, we’re here to provide you with exclusive insights, laying out the benefits and drawbacks of starting up in Washington, DC.
Recently, we spoke with Dede Haskins, the Director of the Washington DC Founder Institute. In addition to coaching some the most dynamic companies in the Metro DC area, she has also acted as the President of Women in Technology and Secretary of Women in Technology Education Foundation. With years of experience consulting small businesses in Washington DC, she recalls many cases where she was the only woman in the room.
In this installment of Washington DC Behind the Scenes, Dede answers our questions regarding the current state of women entrepreneurs in the DC area. Even though D.C. was ranked one of the best cities in the country for female entrepreneurs earlier this year, Dede still believes there is room for improvement.
According to Dede,
There’s a ton of research out there that shows that having three women on the Board of Directors will help create a more diverse board, and if you look at the stats on it, companies with women on the board are more financially successful than companies with fewer than three. But the number in the Washington, DC Metro area is only 12 to 15 percent. There is a lot of room to make things better.”
The Founder Institute is committed to narrowing the gender gap in high-tech startups, which is why we introduced the Female Founder Fellowship program, allowing women to apply to the Founder Institute for free. In the words of Adeo Ressi, Founder and CEO of Founder Institute,
I want to see a point in the not too distant future where 50% of all the new startups are founded by women or have women in the founding team."
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