Qurate Retail Group & Nest Share Commitments to Female Entrepreneurship
In the spirit of International Women’s Day, Nest, in collaboration with Qurate Retail Group (QVC and HSN), is continuing our support of women entrepreneurs who dare to live out their dreams in action. Founder of Nest, Rebecca van Bergen, spoke to the “fierce willpower to dare and do–to make female entrepreneurship worldwide a reality” on QVC’s dedicated programming for International Women’s Day yesterday.
In 2019, Qurate Retail Group fellows spent two-weeks with four U.S.-based and female-led social enterprises that are part of the Nest Guild–a global community of artisan and craft-based businesses. Participating Guild members had the opportunity to leverage the unique insights of Qurate Retail Group employees, from business development to production and design.
One such Guild member from Dallas, Texas, was Vickery Trading, a nonprofit social enterprise that equips refugee women for long-term success through vocational training, personal development and fair wages. “It was a fantastic time! It exceeded my expectations, and I was blown away with the amount of help. Fellows handled the scale shift very well and participated in different activities from sales analyses to developing manufacturing streamlining systems,” said Vickery founder.
Qurate Retail Group’s commitment to offering the talents and expertise of their teams to support the brands of women-led artisan businesses is extremely needed and rooted in national research. In a recent survey of more than 1,000 women entrepreneurs commissioned by Qurate Retail Group, only 34% of women with small companies (10 or fewer employees) indicated that a mentor played a very important role in their business success. Nearly 30% indicated they did not even have a mentor; making the need for programs such as our Fellowship opportunity invaluable for women entrepreneurs, both in the United States and internationally. In 2019 alone, the Nest Fellowship program provided female-founded artisan businesses with over a thousand hours of pro bono consultation hours for projects related to brand strategy, communications and marketing.
Nest’s craft entrepreneurs are predominantly women, and they are more likely to engage in mentorship and business growth opportunities than their male counterparts, particularly when it comes to support around brand strategy. For example, among the Guild artisan businesses registered for Nest’s 2019 webinar offerings focused on Brand Strategy, Marketing and Communications, 61% were female-founded. And of the 542 woman-led artisan businesses in the Nest Guild, 47.6% identify “brand strategy” as one of their biggest challenges to running their business.
Further survey discoveries showed that three-quarters of women entrepreneurs feel it’s important to create a brand that feels authentic, and two-thirds of women entrepreneurs say it’s important for customers to know and understand their brand story. At Nest, we could not agree more. In a similar survey we conducted, 66% of survey respondents reported feeling that they have been successful in sharing their brand vision across communications and sales channels (the remaining respondents felt they had work to do).
At Nest and Qurate Retail Group, we believe in the power of authentic stories of female entrepreneurs to drive the growth of their businesses. We are grateful for the continuous support from QVC and HSN, to date raising over $1.2M for the organization’s Fellowship program, continuing to bring mentorship to at least 6 new women-founded artisan enterprises in 2020.
Stay tuned on social media to hear more about our alliance, and we invite you to share how you #dreamdaredo as part of our ongoing celebration of International Women’s Day!
Tags: Artisan, Artisan guild, Nest Artisan Guild, Nest Guild, Nest Partnerships, Nest Professional Fellowship Program, Rebecca van Bergen