During her 2014 book tour for her self-help tome, #Girlboss, Sophia Amoruso noticed that while they waited to get their books signed, women in line would strike up conversations with one another and exchange business cards.
“That was something that seemed even more important to them than the book itself,” recalled Amoruso of watching these interactions. “That they were able to find self-selecting women who had ambition, who might be small business owners, who want to level up in their careers. And there was really no other place to do that.”
Amoruso admits that things have changed in the past four years, and hopes that her own company, Girlboss—yes, just like the book—has been a “harbinger of women’s entrepreneurship.”
Girlboss’s initial approach has been to do so through content: articles, a podcast and of course, the book. Around those pieces of content, a community has developed, said Amoruso, including a Facebook group, where she’s watched 5,000 women connect with one another. But the Girlboss team felt they could do better than just a Facebook group, and instead set about creating their own space for women to connect with one another, and to create a multiway conversation with the women who had already engaged with Girlboss.
“The book naturally built a community, and the podcast continued that, and so did the other content and the Girlboss rallies, but [the fans] really asked, how can we be connected all year long?” said Amoruso, adding: “The community was built by them, so we’re just showing up.”
The result is a “a professional women’s network” for “anyone who has ambition in their career,” Amoruso said.
Called Girlboss Community, it’s a LinkedIn-like social platform centered around a feed with profiles for each user, where they can display their resumes. There, women can connect with people all over the country about all things career-related. It’ll also be a place to crowdsource information, whether that’s advice on how to negotiate a salary, or even the best coffee shops for working in a particular city. There will be job postings and the chance to talk about work opportunities, as well as 50-plus hours of video that offer career advice and counsel available on the site, too.
Amoruso said she imagines it’ll be particularly beneficial for women in rural areas or small towns, where there may not be many other like-minded businesswomen in their communities. It’ll also be a place for women to seek out mentors, even if they might not be in the same geographic area.
“The idea is that this is not a stuffy place for traditional resumes, this is a place where anybody who is either a small business owner, a hustler, a freelancer, a creative, someone just getting started or reentering the workforce after taking a few years off, can come and showcase not just what they do but who they are,” she said. “It’s just a natural extension of everything we’ve already done.”
To create the platform, she consulted with and crowdsourced other entrepreneurs, including Whitney Wolfe Herd, founder of Bumble, Ty Haney, founder of Outdoor Voices, Jen Rubio, founder of Away and Alexis Ohanian, founder of Reddit.
It’s set for launch in January of next year. Membership will not be free, and though the exact fee has not yet been determined, it will be less than $20 per month.
And Amoruso, who often felt isolated in her early days as an entrepreneur, said that she hopes Girlboss will help the next generation of female founders connect with others.
She admitted: “It’s something that I wish I had.”