Incfile’s January “Business Owner of the Month” is one of the founders of GirlCrew, a social network for women to make friends. GirlCrew started back in 2014 as a Tinder hack, before moving to Facebook where they grew the network to over 100,000 members across 50 cities worldwide. In 2018, Facebook invited the company to celebrate “Friend’s Day” with Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg. And last summer, GirlCrew launched their own platform that is currently active in the United States, Canada, the EU, and Australia. Incfile chatted with Aine Malloy, one of the three co-founders, to find out some of the secrets of GirlCrew’s success.
Malloy explains that GirlCrew was born out of necessity. One Friday night her co-founder Elva Carri was bored at home when she wanted to go out. With her friends and sisters all busy, Carri turned to Tinder. She changed her gender settings and put up a graphic explaining her predicament, and asked if other women wanted to go out dancing instead of swiping. Overnight she had over 100 matches, and the origins of GirlCrew were born.
Unlike other social networks, GirlCrew is a community in the true sense of the word. Members join local groups and are connected with all the other members in that area (e.g., New York, San Francisco, London, Dublin). There they can chat, share advice and tips or arrange events like a simple coffee, dinner or holiday celebration. As Malloy says: “As an adult, you often need local advice, a network you can rely on, and just people you can meet up with to hang out with in a way that suits you.”
Malloy admits that being an entrepreneur comes with a lot of challenges — while you will always have a plan, something is always bound to go wrong. She notes that in those moments, you need to be able to step back, be adaptable and keep your cool.
“Personally, I think it’s important to look at those around you too. Having a strong team is vital. Whether you’re an individual who works solo and gets support from friends/family, or a team with several co-founders, getting that right fit is vital,” she said.
The GirlCrew community is built on respect and uplifting their members; they try to give back to those who have joined as well as society as a whole. Malloy explains that whether it’s supporting women’s rights, raising money for the homeless crisis in Ireland or discussing other social issues, for GirlCrew it’s important to be championing those who have been marginalized. This mindset also creates a very supportive vibe within the network. Through the platform, the founders often see women sharing personal stories and helping each other through tough times.
“I don’t think the same level of honesty happens in mixed spaces. We have faced some comments, but honestly, most people can see the positive benefits of what we’re doing” Malloy said.
As for general business advice, Malloy offers these nuggets for business owners:
- Ensure there is a perceived value to what you’re creating
- Think about your culture, ethos and purpose
- Ask yourself what the community is for: Why is it there, and what does it stand for?
- Develop very clear guidelines on the types of things your company will (and won’t) support
- Be aware of different cultures and approaches, and test your market to see what works in different places
Inspired by Aine Malloy’s story and her company GirlCrew? Learn more about how you can start your own business with Incfile today. We can help you can quickly and easily form your business for as little as $49 + state fees.