Vista’s (formerly VistaPrint) ultimate mission is to be the trusted marketing and design partner for small businesses everywhere - continuously aiming to make small feel big. In honor of International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, Vista launched a program that would help move the needle for women-owned small businesses - one that could be activated globally in select markets, and across various cultures, showcasing how Vista champions women entrepreneurs and seeks equality for this group.
Women cite a lack of capital and connections as primary reasons that hold them back entrepreneurially. On average, women-owned businesses start out with 50% less capital than men [Winning the Toughest Customer: The Essential Guide to Selling to Women].
A woman will refer up to 26 individuals to a company, product, or service if she is happy with her experience (vs. 11 for men). [Winning the Toughest Customer: The Essential Guide to Selling to Women]
Vista partnered with IFundWomen (IFW), the world’s largest funding marketplace for women, to connect women entrepreneurs around the world with resources, funding, and coaching. Together, Vista and IFW granted more than $100,000 in funding to women small business owners.
ReferHer starts with an invitation from one woman business owner to another - to an exclusive dinner where both receive capital, coaching, and connections, plus access to a suite of services and resources to build a support community.
By inviting “one more” to the table, Vista plays an active role in helping to grow women-owned businesses and move the needle for women entrepreneurs across the globe.
To bring ReferHer to life, FlyteVu curated partnerships in each global market with women-led co-working spaces including The Jane Club (US), Mona by My Little Paris (France), AllBright (UK), One Roof (Australia), and Make Lemonade (Canada). These partners were selected as local ‘experts’ and helped efficiently reach each global community and spread the word about the program. They also aided in planning and executing the program, and assisted with the nuances of each country and culture.
To launch the campaign, FlyteVu developed a dedicated bi-lingual global application, where women entrepreneurs could apply and ‘refer’ a fellow woman entrepreneur in their community. One month and nearly 400 applications later, Vista and IFundWomen narrowed down the top ten candidates per market, based on a business pitch, the rationale for needing grant support, digital presence, and more. These candidates invited their plus one entrepreneur (“refer her”) to the ReferHer Dinner in their market, to emphasize the power of bringing one more to the table.
The dinner experiences were curated across the globe and hosted by women entrepreneurial talent including hosts like actress and comedian June Diane Raphael. Vista granted more than $100,000 in funding to women small business owners at the dinners, as well as provided access to Vista tools and women-led co-working spaces.
Beyond an incredible celebration, the dinners served as an opportunity for networking and coaching from experts at IFundWomen and the co-working partners, helping to expand the community these women entrepreneurs are a part of. During the dinner, the 20 women-owned small businesses in each city formed connections and shared the trials, and tribulations as well as successes of being women entrepreneurs. They took to social media to share their experience resulting in over 100 pieces of user-generated content.
The ReferHer program was the first-ever global program for Vista. Through the ReferHer x IFundWomen custom microsite, nearly 400 women small business owners globally submitted applications.
The social posts announcing the program and prompting applicants garnered over 3 million impressions with recap components amassing 15 million impressions.
To spread awareness of the program in each market, FlyteVu generated earned media coverage in local and national publications for the program reaching over 98 million unique monthly visitors. The program was featured in local publications for each market and national media including Forbes, Los Angeles Magazine, Entrepreneur, BizWomen, Harper’s Bazaar UK, and more.
During the ReferHer recipient dinners, attendees shared inspirational stories, heard from Vista executives and fellow entrepreneurs, learned about Vista’s creative resources, and connected with entrepreneurs in their market.
All program recipients received a Vista package of design and marketing resources inclusive of a $700 credit for 99designs by Vista, a $140 credit for VistaPrint, and a 12-month subscription to VistaCreate.
From IFundWomen, the recipients were gifted personalized coaching which includes two 30-minute private coaching sessions per monthly cycle. They were also gifted unlimited access to IFundWomen’s workshops, which cover topics entrepreneurs need to know, bi-monthly invitations to their Masterminds, exclusive to their coaching community, and unlimited access to IFundWomen’s workshop library which includes over 100 hours of expert-led sessions.
Vista distributed a grand total of $100,000 in grants to women-owned businesses in the US, France, London, Australia, and Canada.
The women-owned businesses that received grants are already starting to see the successes of this program as one London-based business, Philly & Friends, was recently featured in Harper’s Bazaar - a connection made through ReferHer.