Female Founders Rise - Swoperz
Last week I had the honour of attending the Female Founders Event Rise networking event, hosted by Emmie Faust at BloomsYard right off Liverpool Street Station in London.
For starters, not only were there free drinks, but I was quick to inhale one of the many different brownies and pastries they were offering - 10/10. A myriad of speakers took the stage, both men and women, discussing the actions they are taking in bringing light to female founders from around the world.
I was lucky enough to flag down Charlene Hurlock and Vicky Fuller, the founders of Swoperz, a subscription-based pre-loved clothing marketplace. Swoperz is run by kids and managed by grown-ups.
Currently, Swoperz have been trading for eight months at a pre-seed stage, and are in the midst of closing their first ever round of investment with a funding partner, through the SEIS scheme - an incredible impressive feat!
Charlene and Vicky were inspired by their daughters who independently started swapping their pre-loved clothes during the pandemic. They are now on a mission to save parents time and money, empower kids to make their own fashion choices and save the planet one swap at a time.
What was the highlight of the event?
"The venue was great, and BloomsYard was very accommodating. The combination of VC/Angles was impressive and being able to introduce yourself and have a quick chat was very beneficial. The volume of attendees was inspiring, having 140 likeminded people in one room was phenomenal."
"The atmosphere was upbeat and relaxed. We were made to feel very welcome by Emmie and the team. We both agree that Emmie has achieved an amazing accomplishment by bringing a female founder community together in such a short amount of time. We found the format to be smooth, we enjoyed the speed dating style and the “little helpers” bell ringing."
"The drinks were flowing, and the sweet treats were delicious. You cannot go wrong with wine and cake!"
As a female founder, how important are these events?
"When we started our founder journey, our network was very small and the only way to expand it was to physically get out and meet people at networking events. We believe that we have been in the FFR community since the beginning, and we have benefited from the support and events that we have been a part of."
"Networking communities such as Female Founder Rise and the events that they put on facilitate a safe space for women to grow and support other women and other underrepresented founders. The community allows female founders to learn and ask for help/advice (women are great at asking for help and sharing knowledge – when the environment is right)."
"Female communities are also great for us, up to now, we have always had a lot of appreciation for our marketplace and support for our swopping mission."
Tell us a bit about your own funding journey?
"Our funding journey has been an absolute whirlwind that at times, has had us both questioning ourselves… It has been an emotional rollercoaster and we have loved every moment of it! We had to analyse what would be the best route for us would be a VC/Angel/ funding partner and the first impression that we made on them, knowing that women are massively under-represented, with female-founded companies receiving less than 3% of investment."
"We have been extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to be closing our first round so quickly. In our experience, we have felt that being confident in our product and the size of the market, we have been able to make realistic projections."
"We believe that showing that we have validated our idea and knowing our numbers, has made us investable. Our biggest piece of advice would be that investors invest in people they believe can deliver the plan that is being presented, so, be yourself! We nearly learnt that the hard way by risking our first funding round...but that’s another story."
Thanks again so much to Emmie Faust and her entire team for putting on such an incredible event - looking forward to the next one!