How startup owners can benefit from knowledge-sharing with large businesses

News Room
  •  Startups face many challenges as they establish their businesses and scale up.
  • This applies particularly to businesses run by women, which face additional hurdles.
  • Two programs run by Dell aim to help startups build their networks and invest in technology.

When we talk about business, we often speak in clichés. It’s easy to see why handy phrases take off and take hold — after all, we’ve all had to circle back to our blue-sky thinking before the rubber meets the road. Yet it’s hard to deny that some business clichés need updating for modern life. Take the phrase, “It’s a dog-eat-dog world,” a pessimistic statement about competitiveness which can be traced all the way back to 1732. Almost 300 years later, it might be more accurate to say it’s a “dog-help-puppy world,” thanks to big companies such as Dell Technologies who are committed to supporting small business owners.

The first is Dell for Startups, a multi-layered program that helps new businesses grow. Members are offered expertise from their own personal Dell Technology Advisor and can also access exclusive discounts on new Dell tech. Crucially, the program helps startup owners invest in the best scalable technology that will grow alongside their business, from client systems to speedy servers to completely custom hardware.

A strong focus on female founders

Dell dedicates time to helping anyone who wants to scale up their startup; in particular, the company understands the powerful role that women play in today’s economy. For almost 15 years, Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network has been empowering women to build their businesses. Members of DWEN are part of a global community (91k members worldwide) of women founders and small business owners who regularly have inspiring conversations and share their knowledge and skills via the network. With help from DWEN, small business owners have scaled their companies by connecting to each other and through DWEN’s range of learning resources on topics such as funding, marketing, sales, technology, and much more, that help their businesses thrive. Remarkably, membership is completely free.

Inside the network, clichés are out, and concrete information is in. DWEN deploys original research and knowledge-seeking, and since 2016 has created annual indexes to rank the best cities for women entrepreneurs.

The Dell Women Entrepreneurs Cities Index lists 55 cities based on their ability to support high-potential businesswomen. Each location is judged on factors such as the amount of funding received by women, the local policies that support women-owned companies, and the prevalence of women mentors and networks. In 2023, London was found to be the best city for women who are scaling their businesses, Berlin was found to have the most supportive culture, while Copenhagen was the best technologically.

Knowledge empowers small business owners

The information in the WE Cities Index allows businesswomen to understand which markets to expand into and which global factors will impact the health of their company. The index is the only one of its kind in the world because it goes beyond rankings and measurements to recommend best practices to policymakers and investors, therefore ensuring progress continues to be made. The 2023 report, for example, emphasized the importance of establishing diverse sources of capital such as crowdfunding and lending programs, as well as paid parental leave and childcare benefits.

To date, DWEN has impacted over 91,000 women entrepreneurs across the globe, and Dell spends over $3 billion (£2.43 billion) every year with women-owned, minority-owned, and small businesses. Yet the company is also committed to constantly evolving the ways it helps new players — creating competitions and pilot programs to offer extra boosts. In the autumn of 2022, Dell ran the DWEN Dream Tech Contest in the UK, offering four finalists £40,000 worth of Dell technology between them. The first-place winners were Jo Goodall and Jas Schembri, founders of the teenage well-being app Luna.

A new entrepreneur mentoring pilot program, for select DWEN and Dell for Startup members, will be launching this summer, helping to connect even more of its members than it has before and connect to Dell’s professionals, subject matter experts, Dell’s partners, and seasoned entrepreneurs. Dell hopes to extend this to more members in 2025. 

Dogs no longer eat dogs in the business world — instead, big businesses help small businesses and empowered women empower women.

Learn more about Dell’s Small Business Communities here.

This article was created by Insider Studios with Dell Technologies.


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