What do ClassPass, Bumble, and Birchbox all have in common? Besides being universally loved by millennials, these companies were all founded by women. Every year more and more females are turning their creative ideas into successful businesses. In fact, women now make up 40% of all new entrepreneurs in the United States, the highest percentage since 1996. As we enter what some are calling “the golden age for female entrepreneurs,” now more than ever women are searching for places and opportunities to connect with like-minded aspiring business owners. No one knows this better than Create & Cultivate founder, Jaclyn Johnson.
When starting her own company at 24, Jaclyn felt isolated and alone. Frustrated with the lack of resources available for female entrepreneurs both online and offline, she launched Create & Cultivate, an online platform and IRL conference for women looking to create and cultivate the career of their dreams. “What I found was, I wasn't alone,” said Johnson. “Women wanted a community and further wanted a place that not only gave them hard-hitting advice but spoke to them in a way that was authentic to the experience.”
Over 800 women flocked to this year’s Create & Cultivate conference in New York for a day full of inspirational panels, networking, and mentor “power hours” with female influencers and thought leaders. From complimentary hair and makeup applications to photo booths and chock-full swag bags, there were an endless amount of “insta-worthy” moments for attendees to take advantage of. However, hands down the best thing we took home was the brilliant career advice from powerhouses like Rebecca Minkoff, Gloria Steinem, and Refinery29's very own, Piera Gelardi. Here are our biggest takeaways: