Doyenne 2021 Annual report

Doyenne's 2021 numbers and the story behind the numbers

By: Heather Wentler
Like most organizations and ventures, 2021 had new experiences and things thrown at Doyenne that we had to navigate through and figure out new paths to keep the organization open. The year started with us hiring one new full-time Director, upgrading two of our part-time Directors to full-time status, increasing some contractor time allotments, and maintaining the number of interns we have had in the past. This was huge! It felt like a solid win for the organization and that we were going to continue to increase the impact momentum we had built upon in 2020. 

Fast forward to June 2021, numbers were way down for participation and dollars coming in through sponsorships and grants. Our strategy had a bunch of starts and stops as far as what was working and how people wanted to engage. Our numbers were very much on par with the economy with highs and lows every month and lots of changes having to be made in real-time to meet those needs and demands. I made the difficult decision to let go of all of the full-time staff in order to keep the organization alive.This was the reality many of our non-profit and Entrepreneur Support Organizations (ESO) partners and friends went through. 

The second half of 2021 had us rebound in many ways. Due to the staffing cutbacks we did consolidate a lot of the programming offerings and I invested a lot of time and energy into community feedback and focusing on what Doyenne does, who we do it for, and how we measure impact. 

To support the strategy development I was working through I received coaching from Krystle Perry of Martin Perry Consulting Coaching & Training who supported our DEI journey map outline and action steps, as well as Michelle Somes-Booher of the Small Business Development Center at UW-Madison. Both of these individuals, and many more, helped in all of the planning, strategizing, vocabulary, and messaging for Doyenne 2022 (I wrote all about all of our updates in the January 2022 HQ Update). I pulled out pages that we use in the Triple Threat Venture Training workbook and took a dose of our own medicine to help with setting the stage for the future.

Doyenne’s Mission

Doyenne focuses on three strategic areas for mobilizing a community around economic growth for women and marginalized gender/s entrepreneurs who are leading early-stage, scalable ventures.

  1. Develop the Entrepreneur: Expand entrepreneurial skills through professional development workshops and webinars, and provide general public attendance programming to highlight the entrepreneurs within Doyenne

  2. Fund the Ventures: Put dollars into the hands of underrepresented entrepreneurs and create pipelines for more classes of individuals to invest in each other. Dollars to entrepreneurs can be through Doyenne but also through connections to other funding opportunities across the country

  3. Transform the Narrative: Changing the face of entrepreneurship through our collective voice and through the way entrepreneurship is recognized and supported within an entrepreneurial ecosystem 

What does “scalable” mean to Doyenne? 

Scalable doesn’t solely mean “investor ready” or “pre-money” ventures. When we think about scalability it means you’re building something that’s bigger than just you and where you’re at in the venture right now.  Scalability can be increasing your target market, market reach, products/services offered, and/or dollars brought into the venture. 

When we look at industries served, tech (very broad), service provider, and product manufacturing are our top three ranking. Many of the ventures we work with don’t initially identify as a tech company, for example they may be a brick and mortar company but are building an ecommerce component. When they come to Doyenne seeking support for their ecommerce platform we are better able to serve their needs than if they’re solely running their physical shop. Thanks to our many partnerships across the Wisconsin ecosystem we can point them to other ESOs that would be better fits for supporting the needs and experiences of running a physical location venture. 

Doyenne’s 2021 Impact Numbers

  • 11 Professional Develop programs offered

  • 35 public events offered for anyone to attend

  • 352 total participation attendance (this is down 30% from 2019, but still well within industry average)

  • 15 new courses with 83 enrollments added to the Doyenne Learning Lab.
    Of the 15 new courses 12 are Free courses. The 3 courses that have costs associated with them are multi-piece courses that have support documentation and action steps to get you using the knowledge you access within the course within your venture’s strategy and development. We also profit share revenues from these courses with the facilitators unless they offer to have all revenues stay within Doyenne.
    All Doyenne Learning Lab courses are open for anyone to enroll and access without any restrictions

  • An average of 41 hours per month were dedicated by Doyenne staff & volunteers directly supporting early-stage venture growth through coaching and mentoring. We have over 120 coaches & mentors who have gone through our Coaches Training workshop before being able to work with entrepreneurs

  • $30,000 was awarded to women-led ventures in Wisconsin through the Doyenne Evergreen Fund & 5x5x5 program

  • Our revenues were down overall for the year but due to cutbacks within operation budgets we ended in the black with a $5,955 profit

2021 Board of Directors

Doyenne’s Board of Directors is comprised of diverse women from varying backgrounds and talents who share a passion for advancing women and marginalized gender/s individuals

Voting Board Members

  • Heather Wentler - President

  • Pooja Shah - Vice President

  • Jessica Boling - Secretary

  • Truscenialyn Brooks

  • Dana Guthrie

Non -Voting Board Members

  • Allie Huber (FinePoint Consulting) - Treasurer

Board Members Truscenialyn Brooks and Dane Guthrie exited the Doyenne Board at the end of 2021 as they had reached the maximum amount of time to be able to serve on the Board based on our Bylaws. Their knowledge imparted on Doyenne and support of the organization over the past three years has been transformational as to how the organization is focused and operating. We wish them well and hope they will continue to be part of the Doyenne community for years to come.