Halifax-based Vendeve wants to be the go-to referral network for female entrepreneurs

“It’s not what you know, it’s who you know,” is an often-regurgitated piece of advice when entrepreneurs are building their companies. Yet women may be losing out on these resources; according to the Harvard Business Review, a lack of informal networks for women in many businesses is a major barrier to their success.

Vendeve allows users to earn “street cred” points from other members for contributing to conversations within the community.

Vendeve, a Halifax-based startup, is hoping to change that. The startup has unveiled a referral network for women entrepreneurs, with the aim of connecting business owners with freelancers. Catering to women at all stages of their business, Vendeve allows users to earn “street cred” points from other members for contributing to conversations within the community. The higher the points, the higher the likelihood of being featured on Vendeve’s expert directory, where entrepreneurs can search when hiring a freelancer, coach, or consultant.

“I built Vendeve because it’s the tool that I wish existed when I started my own freelance business six years ago,” said co-founder Katelyn Bourgoin, who started and ran a PR company prior to starting Vendeve. “We want to change the way women do business, which will change how the world does business.”

As the calls for more diversity in tech grow louder, Vendeve’s network is coming to the market at the right time. Currently, Vendeve is part of the Mill Startup Accelerator in Las Vegas. “I like to say that entrepreneurship is like riding a unicorn through a minefield—magical, exhilarating and terrifying,” said Bourgoin. “It’s way too tough to do alone. With Vendeve, women don’t have to.”

Jessica Galang

Jessica Galang

Jessica Galang is BetaKit's News Editor.