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The Heidi B Show

May 20, 2021

Lady Change Makers with Jessica Bargenquast

One of the most challenging things for women business owners is getting their business in the spotlight. While we talk a lot about women supporting women, it's much difficult to apply in practice in a men-dominated industry. Having platforms amplifying women’s voices is critical to even out the playing field in the competitive world of entrepreneurship. With the help of these platforms, we can open up more opportunities for women to build success.

In today's episode, Jessica Bargenquast talks about the ins and outs of Lady ChangeMakers. She discusses the reason behind building this directory for women business owners. She also takes us through how she dealt with its technical aspects. Jessica also shares how she navigates the extroverted world of entrepreneurship as an introvert and her favorite parts of running the platform.

If you want to support and amplify the voice of women business owners, this episode is for you!

Here are three reasons why you should listen to the full episode:

  1. Find out how to support women business owners through an online directory.
  2. Discover how you can start a website and app for your business that’s not from scratch.
  3. Learn how you can get out of your comfort zone as an introvert while staying true to your nature.


Episode Highlights

Supporting Women Business Owners

  • Lady ChangeMakers started with Jessica’s desire to support women business owners but not finding an easy way to do it.
  • That’s when she thought of creating an online directory that people would want to use.
  • 83% of women want to support women-owned businesses; 62% don’t know where to find them.

More Than a Directory

  • Lady ChangeMakers is community-focused.
  • It aims to get women-owned businesses potential customers and help them connect to other women business owners.
  • Jessica’s goal in the platform’s listing is to make people want to learn more about the businesses.

Building the Directory

  • Jessica does not have a technical background. It took her around six months to figure out how to get the directory running.
  • Her tip: Take advantage of available templates and customize them accordingly.

Making the Platform Engaging

  • There are a lot of questions to answer when filling out the form for the directory. This is to let potential customers get to know the business.
  • The questions in the form aim to better cater to the needs of different women business owners.
  • They have also launched a Facebook group to interact and connect one-on-one with the people in the community.

Navigating the Extroverted World as an Introvert

  • Jessica admits that she does better digitally than in person. 
  • Jessica created the brand so she didn't have to show her face. However, she learned that she needs to show up to make a connection.
  • Showing up requires consistency.
  • As an introvert, showing up is difficult; it can be draining. That’s why Jessica’s coach gave her advice to create content ahead of time. 
  • Listen to the full episode to learn about the challenge that made Jessica start taking action and showing up on video!

Jessica’s Background

  • Jessica came from marketing and advertising. 
  • Her goal was to be a CEO by 30. 
  • With this in mind, she started an agency. However, it failed. 
  • Jessica likes being behind the scenes, looking for solutions, and building things. 
  • When she learned to show up and speak up, she realized she could be an entrepreneur.

Jessica’s Favorite Parts About the Business

  • Because the directory gets feedback from users, the team can constantly add new features to it.
  • Through this, Jessica learns something new to do in the directory. 
  • She also enjoys learning about the business that goes through the directory. 

The Businesses in the Directory

  • Anyone who supports women can be in the directory. 
  • One man, who is a fitness trainer for women, currently has a listing in the directory. 
  • There are now almost 700 women business owners in the directory. 
  • There are also listings in Canada, the UK, and Australia.

How to Submit a Listing

  • Fill out and submit the listing form at Lady ChangeMaker’s website.
  • There are three listing options available: A free listing and two upgraded options. 
  • These options have different benefits attached to them. Listen to the full episode to find out more. 

Some Tips on the Technical Side of the Business

  • A PWA (progressive web application) is a website for phones that act like an app without being an actual app. 
  • PWA clones the website for phones. All Jessica had to do was create thumbnail images for different types of phones.
  • Jessica recommends Squarespace for creating websites unless you want to customize.
  • There are various options to build an app without starting from scratch. Listen to the full episode to learn the challenges Jessica faces to get the app into the App Store!

Juggling Things and Managing Time

  • Don’t feel like you have to do everything. Start with one platform and try to grow from there.
  • Jessica works from home for her full-time job. 
  • She feels lucky because she enjoys working on the directory.
  • Jessica’s mornings are her daily non-negotiables. Tune in to the full podcast to know more about Jessica’s morning routine!

Jessica's Advice for Struggling Women

  • Jessica suggests getting the workbook Mind Your Business by Ilana Griffo. 
  • She shares that it’s a good resource to help you if you’re interested in entrepreneurship.
  • Her end goal is to create a microloan program for women business owners who are still starting. 

5 Powerful Quotes from This Episode

[02:38] “We all talk about women supporting women all the time. It's a great hashtag. But how do we really put that to use and put the dollars where our mouths are?”

[16:14] “Until I learned to actually show up and speak up was really when it was like, ‘Oh, I could be an entrepreneur.’”

[21:45] “The number three problem for women owned businesses is being able to afford marketing. So I never want there to be that barrier for women to join.”

[28:50] “My best advice I can give you is don't feel like you have to do all the things… What's the one platform you can do really well? Last year, I chose Instagram. So that was the one thing I was going to commit to every single day… And then just try and grow from there.”

[31:10] “I think a lot of history for women has been kind of just glossed over... And so I want to showcase those women who really trail blaze for us… because when we really see those women, we know that we can do that too.”

About Jessica

Jessica Bargenquast is the founder and CEO of Lady ChangeMakers, an online directory platform of women-owned businesses. This online directory aims to amplify women business owners and their brands. 

Jessica is also a Marketing Coordinator at JDA Software. She has over 15 years of experience in buildings systems, processes, campaigns, and teams through a combined operation and marketing lens.

If you wish to connect with Jessica, you may visit her on Instagram and LinkedIn. Don’t forget to visit Lady ChangeMaker’s website!

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To being relationship-ready,

Heidi B