Starting a movement: Q&A with FFFL.co founder Dr. Sophia Yen
Inspired by the book “Half the Sky” by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, FFFL (pronounced “full”) is an awareness campaign and movement that encourages women and their allies to choose companies that are Female Founded & Female Led (FFFL).
Their mission is to bring visibility to, increase the numbers of, and increase the revenue of and funding for Female Founded, Female Led, and Female Owned businesses.
Today, we’re speaking with Sophia Yen, MD, MPH. She is the CEO and co-founder of Pandia Health, birth control delivery. She has a passion for making women’s lives easier, preventing unplanned pregnancies, and educating women about
With more than 20 years of experience in medicine, she is board-certified in adolescent medicine. She graduated with a B.S. from MIT, M.D. from UCSF Medical School, and M.P.H. from UC Berkeley in Maternal Child Health.
She serves as a clinical associate professor of pediatrics in the division of adolescent medicine at Stanford Medical School. She is a reproductive health specialist and co-founded three non-profit organizations/projects in her endeavors to improve the lives of women: The Silver Ribbon Campaign to Trust Women, SheHeroes.org, FFFL = #FemaleFounded #FemaleLed.
GoDaddy Q&A with Dr. Sophia Yen
This interview has been gently edited for length and clarity.
GoDaddy: What are you trying to accomplish with your work?
Dr. Sophia Yen: The book “Half the Sky” by Kristof and WuDunn describes how women hold up half the sky and without women, the sky is not full.
#FFFL is an awareness campaign and movement that encourages women and our allies to choose companies that are Female Founded & Female Led.
GoDaddy: What motivated you to take the first step in launching your business?
Dr. Sophia Yen: I saw many organizations helping women founders. But few awareness campaigns for consumers to wake up and support women founders/leaders/owners.
GoDaddy: What kind of success have you seen since launching this campaign? Has it helped other women?
Dr. Sophia Yen: We’ve had 80-plus companies sign up that are Female Founded and Female Led. We are launching a PR campaign this month.
Our goal is to get those that support females to take the pledge to buy from Female Founded and Female Led companies and to highlight Female Founded, Female Led companies.
GoDaddy: What was one of the hardest or most unexpected obstacles you had to overcome to get your idea off the ground?
Dr. Sophia Yen: For women founders, it’s always funding. And finding the right people to help make it happen like Springboard Enterprises and website design/marketing pro Gianna Whitver.
GoDaddy: How have you handled funding obstacles?
Dr. Sophia Yen: We’ve been lucky to have Pandia Health, the only women-founded, women-led, doctor-led birth control delivery company secure donations to support this effort. We hope others will contribute to increase consumer awareness of Female Founded, Female Led companies.
GoDaddy: Tell us about a moment you are particularly proud of in your start-up journey?
Dr. Sophia Yen: We are just beginning but we love the fact that all the women’s organziations have responded positively!
GoDaddy: Did you face any unique challenges as a woman in your field to get your start-up launched?
Dr. Sophia Yen: Because we’re a nonprofit and partnered with Springboard Enterprises (a well-respected women supporting organization), it’s been OK thus far.
GoDaddy: What advice do you have for someone thinking about starting their own business?
Dr. Sophia Yen: Get support. Join the village!
GoDaddy: Why .CO and .health?
Dr. Sophia Yen: It was available and Springboard Enterprises suggested it. We trust Springboard.
GoDaddy: What’s next for you?
Dr. Sophia Yen: Raise funds for someone to run this full-time. Get as many companies to sign up as possible. Get women and allies to buy from #FemaleFounded #FemaleLed companies and to ask the companies they patronize, “who are their founders?” “Who are their leaders?”
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