Meet The Entrepreneur Who Founded An App To Encourage Female Founders To Collaborate, Not Compete.

We’re big believers that the best business ideas and most successful entrepreneurs come about after finding a solution to a problem they’ve experienced. Omaha, Nebraska-based entrepreneur Carina Glover is one of these success stories, whose personal and professional experience are the kind of inspiration we love to read about, as it encourages us to keep going even when it looks like nothing is going right.

Carina experienced devastation on her first day as an entrepreneur in 2014. After months of planning, the night of her event planning business launch party was the disappointment she never expected. She found herself heartbroken when not one of the 75+ people she invited showed up. Refusing to collaborate on her launch event, the harsh lesson planted a seed that would later blossom into the first collaborating app exclusive to women entrepreneurs, HerHeadquarters. 

After over a year of business hardships and persistence, Glover eventually found herself working with prominent brands. As her rise in the event planning world continued, her passion for catering to women entrepreneurs grew. In the spring of 2016 she kicked off her celebration of women entrepreneurs with The Aces Tour in Los Angeles. The sold-out event only fueled her passions and boosted her desires to create something bigger, something that would make it easier for women building empires to secure powerful partnerships

HerHeadquarters app screenshot

Inspired by the consequences of not having an ally in her early entrepreneur days and fueled by the demands of female bosses in influential industries like fashion, beauty, entertainment, events, and PR, the vision of HerHeadquarters was born in 2017. Committed to learning and building a strong foundation for her brand and product, Carina closed the door to her event planning business. By the of end summer 2018, she had the first prototype of HerHeadquarters and her team was user testing with women across the country. Shortly after she’d be announced as a ‘2019 Women Innovator’ by Do Space technology center and awarded as an ‘Emerging Woman Entrepreneur’ by the Women’s Business Center.

Launched on May 30, HerHeadquarters is a collaborating app which uses technology to make the process of women building empires faster, more efficient, and more rewarding. It is an exclusive platform available only to women entrepreneurs in key industries with a strict vetting process, which results in more active users who are intentional in collaborating. Unlike other business networking sites, HerHeadquarters has one primary service and function. The women on HerHeadquarters can get the results they’re looking for 10x faster because they do not have to search through multiple users using the app for different reasons to find someone also open to partnering.

How did you initially create the idea of HerHeadquarters and what led to this?

My toughest lesson as an entrepreneur came on the first day. I experienced devastation when not one single person showed up to my business’ launch party in 2014 for my then event planning business. I made the mistake of thinking that I would be viewed as more ‘successful’ if I did everything alone. While my event planning business eventually saw success, that lesson stuck with me as my passion for catering to women began to skyrocket. The more I worked with female founders and business owners over the years, the more I noticed that women were open to partnering with one another, but that process often came with various struggles. I reached a point where I wanted to do something bigger and more impactful, one random night everything came to me so clearly and suddenly. I wanted to change the image of women who build businesses through collaborations, to show them as bold and powerful, while also making the process of securing quality local and national collaborations easier and more rewarding.

Why did you decide to focus on the Fashion, Beauty, Entertainment, Events, and PR industries?
Not only am I most familiar with industries, but they’re also highly collaborative. Many business owners within these industries rely on brand partnerships as it plays a crucial role in their success and business growth. Partnerships often rewards them with more exposure and more sales. I feel like women who own brands in these industries will appreciate a platform like HerHeadquarters the most.

HerHeadquarters app screenshot

Can you tell us more about the technology you are using for the app to help female entrepreneurs network better?
I’m working with an amazingly talented development team and I worked with a great UX Designer for all wireframes, prototype design, and user testing. The platform was built using a React Native framework.

We’ve seen so many stats about the gender gap when it comes to investment in female entrepreneurs and women-led startups. Why are you choosing to tap into the women-driven market instead?
As a woman of color, an entrepreneur in the tech industry, and one that caters to women in industries that are not as concentrated in the Midwest where I’m based, I definitely experience my fair share of challenges. I’ve always felt that it’s important to avoid letting the potential challenges of something stop you from executing, especially when you’re creating something of value that can have a great impact. I decided to cater to women entrepreneurs because that’s the demographic I’m passionate about, I relate to many of their journeys, both the highs and lows. I was never promised an easy journey, but since it’s not about me I cannot allow the obstacles to stop the show. It’s about building a product and a brand that makes it easier and more rewarding for women entrepreneurs to secure valuable brand partnerships.

One of your key focus messages is fostering allies among women. Why is this so important to you personally?
Perspective is powerful, it can either strengthen you or weaken you. Before I had the courage to collaborate with other brands and women, I had this hindering perspective that doing it alone would make me more accomplished. It took devastation in my first business and unexpected failures for me to realize that it was quite the opposite. I could never be powerful and successful alone. The painful experience of not having allies taught me the value of having them. I want to shatter the idea that the act of women partnering and collaborating is for the under dogs or the struggling business owner. In reality, no matter the size of the business, women who have the courage to join forces with other women in partnership are the ones who are about to dominate. They’re the ones who are fierce, powerful, and the true leaders in business.

How can we disrupt and counter the “competitive” messaging we seem to be ingrained with as women from a young age? How do we get to a place where collaboration is more attractive?
There has to be a break-through in society’s mindset. HerHeadquarters will definitely do its part, but it will take more than one brand and more than one voice to change this damaging narrative. We need to develop an intolerance of anyone or anything that delivers a message of women being in competition. Yes, there is a such thing as healthy competitors in business, but the idea that someone is your competition solely because she’s another woman is a weak mindset. It’s easy for something to become ingrained over time after it has become accepted. We first need to see and understand the injustices of such a mindset that’s been reinforced and taught for years, then we have to start rejecting anything that supports the outdated way of thinking.

HerHeadquarters app screenshot

What differentiates HerHeadquarters from other networking sites?

HerHeadquarters is very unique and there’s various ways in which it stands out. For starters, the platform caters to women entrepreneurs within select industries like Fashion, Beauty, Entertainment, Events, and PR. Unlike most networking apps, users need more than an email and password to gain access, they actually have to be approved to join. Our vetting process allows us to ensure we have quality users and partnerships available on HerHeadquarters. Another key difference is that users are not restricted to finding partnerships and potential partners just in their city. Many of the users on our platform travel for work or are bi-coastal, it’s important that we don’t put limitations on their business growth or opportunities. Our users have access to filters that can help them discover partnerships in any city or any industry. We also have a post collaboration rating system to remove the risk associated with securing partnerships with people outside of your network. Users can view the collaboration history and reviews of potential users they’re considering partnering with before committing to a partnership.

Where do you see yourself and your business 10 years from now?

HerHeadquarters is actually a subsidiary to Ace Empire Media, another company I own. My vision with the parent company is to grow into a media and tech company that exclusively caters to women entrepreneurs, HerHeadquarters is the first division of five we’ll release. In 10 years, I see myself managing the other divisions of Ace Empire Media. The company as a whole will really transform and invent new ways to celebrate women entrepreneurs on a global scale.

What makes you a powerful woman?

The combination of my work ethic & ambition, my support system, my perseverance, and my dedication to, trust in, and obedience to God is what makes me powerful. I do not fear easily. I don’t doubt my abilities to succeed and I trust the process more than ever. I am powerful because I’m guided by, protected by, and loved by the most powerful.

You can find and download the HerHeadquarters app which is available now on Google Play and the App Store.

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