Founding a successful business is not easy. Founding a successful business as a woman is even harder. Research shows a significant difference between the experiences of male and female entrepreneurs in terms of gaining funding and support. Nearly half of female founders (around 48%) say that a lack of mentors and advisors limits their professional growth.
The U.S., New Zealand, and Canada are the top three economies that support female entrepreneurs to thrive, according to the Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs’ fifth annual study in 2021. The report also highlights analysis from Boston Consulting Group (BCG) that global economic growth has the potential to grow from $2.5 trillion to $5 trillion if equal investment occurs for both male and female-owned businesses. However, according to the report, increasing growth from 3% to 6% takes leveraging the power of women entrepreneurs in partnership with venture capitalists, nonprofit organizations, and corporations.
As indicated, there is a clear global value in investing in female founders if additional support systems become prioritized. Rebecca Perez, founder of GOSS Magazine, is addressing the need for community involvement head-on. She has created the GOSS Club, where like-minded businesswomen can engender support through the power of membership and mentorship.
“The purpose of GOSS Club is to thrive together and inspire each other,” says Perez. “This community is for women from all industries, backgrounds, countries, and experiences.” Inclusivity is a founding principle. Members do not have to own a business to gain access to this group of proactive women.
Perez started GOSS as a blog in 2017. She wanted to learn the stories behind businesses and interviewed entrepreneurs. GOSS has since grown to an international community with networking events, an e-magazine with 60,000 subscribers, and a print magazine of 200,000 copies per year.
Other sources of education and support are now proliferating from the original medium of the magazine. The GOSS Club has over 10,000 members, attracted by the women-focused content, exclusive events, and access to GOSS Academy courses. Budding entrepreneurs can take industry-specific courses and connect with women that can help elevate each other.
This concept of connection is crucial to the success of GOSS. Perez is determined not to leave anyone in the margins but to welcome everyone regardless of status or setting. Having had family struggles, Perez is well-versed in the vicissitudes of life. During college, she became guardian to her younger sister and worked full time alongside completing her education.
The intensity and sacrifice of this experience earned Perez grit and compassion, which she brings to the philosophy of GOSS. “#BEGOSSY is a slogan that encourages women to empower themselves, and that can look different for everyone,” she says. “It is about self-actualizing to become the best version of yourself.”
By accepting the role of parent to her sister, Perez entered a path of mentorship. That bond showed her the power of having guidance and unconditional support, now embodied in GOSS. Members assist in practical terms as well as emotional ones. “We can help our members achieve their business goals,” says Perez. “Whether it’s finding a publisher or a platform, our connections can take our members where they want to go.”
Perez believes in potential. “I interview people who have reached the top of their game and am the bridge between them and those who are just starting out,” she adds. “I see similar traits and talents across the spectrum of success. Everyone has the potential to get to the same place.” While success is defined in many ways, the GOSS philosophy strives for authenticity.
Cultivating an independent spirit and bringing your whole self to the project, however it is displayed, is part of Perez’s passion for the GOSS community. “Original is cool! Be as out there or weird as you want. We have no boundaries,” she says. With minimal editing for the front cover model, GOSS aims to promote a strong sense of self in its audience and members.
Despite having the aesthetic of a traditional women’s glossy magazine, GOSS is far from a fashion and make-up guide. Content categories include real estate, medicine, music, art, law, and even aviation, as Perez recently obtained her pilot’s license for fun. Each print edition covers a different category, while the free e-magazine presents a mixture.
The growing membership of GOSS illustrates the appetite for women in business to find collaboration and kinship in the form of community.
Perez embodies a don’t look back mentality that collapses timelines of expected or assumed success as an entrepreneur and as a woman. The self-proclaimed Girl Boss understands the value of education through community building and the role of authentic representation for herself and those women who align with her and the mission of GOSS.
It would be improper to lean into the youthful age of Perez, but in this instance, her age underscores the incredible opportunity that lies ahead for the ever-expanding GOSS community. Perez doesn’t mind if you know her age. She just asks that you embrace your authentic self and join her and thousands of other women as they define their own paths forward.
Interviews have been edited and condensed for clarity.