Image credit: Publicize

In honor of Women’s History Month, the public relations firm Publicize is holding a pitch competition between female-led startups from across the world that will showcase their innovative business ideas.

Entrepreneurs from these startups are encouraged to apply for the March 4 event called  Connect: Women Innovators, where six companies will be selected to present their up-and-coming businesses in front of a panel of media judges. 

Women Entrepreneurs In the Time of Coronavirus

The pandemic has had an uneven impact on women entrepreneurs when compared to their male counterparts. Venture funding to companies founded by women fell by 27 percent last year, according to Crunchbase, despite the fact that overall funding to startups actually increased in 2020.

And women are less likely than before to start their own businesses now. Insights from Female Founders Alliance, a startup community that supports companies founded by women and non-binary individuals, show the severity of this trend.

“Before the pandemic, 87% were somewhat or highly likely to start a company,” the alliance noted in a September 2020 study. “Six months later, 51% of them have delayed or scrapped these plans, while 16% accelerated them, starting a company before they were planning to.”

And these trends are unfortunately signs of larger economic struggles for women during the COVID-19 era. Women’s jobs are nearly twice as vulnerable to the current crisis as men’s jobs, according to a recent report from McKinsey & Company.

This is somewhat due to the disproportionate burden on women to provide unpaid care, which has become a bigger necessity during COVID-19 with children out of schools. Women make up 54% of overall job losses despite being just 39% of the global employment share, the McKinsey report noted.

Given the tremendous contribution of women to the economy, it seems fitting to support women business owners through the current financial hardship. 

Connect: Women Innovators

The Connect: Women Innovators event seeks to give female entrepreneurs a space to get their startup recognized in front of influential judges.

Applications are open until Saturday for any women entrepreneurs from anywhere in the world that run a startup.

Female-led small and medium enterprises who wish to scale their products or services and are interested in pitching their ideas at Connect: Women Innovators are welcome to register for free here. In addition to registering, they should also fill out this form.

The March event is part of a series of Connect events organized by Publicize over the past several years that are designed to link up startups and the media.

Image credit: Publicize
Image credit: Publicize

Media members from top-tier tech and startup publications will provide invaluable critique to help founders craft a more compelling pitch.

Past Connect events hosted by Publicize included journalists and editors from prominent news organizations like Reuters, Fast Company, TechCrunch, Forbes, and Sifted, a technology publication backed by the Financial Times.

The winner will be announced at the end of the event, and there will be a Q&A session with the judging panel afterward. 

Image credit: Publicize
Image credit: Publicize

The competition series has gone digital due to coronavirus-induced movement restrictions, but previous editions were held on-site in Mexico City, Bogotá, Medellín, and Miami. 

The general public is also invited to register and join the online event, which is dedicated to exploring the latest technology and trends in the world of female entrepreneurship, and give much-deserved recognition to industry-disrupting startups run by inspiring women. 

Disclosure: Publicize is a portfolio company of Espacio, which also owns 150sec.