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ISSUE – Aug. 29 | These Women Entrepreneurs Created A Fake Male Cofounder To Dodge Startup Sexism

Penelope Gazin and Kate Dwyer faced a lot of sexism and condescension when they launched their e-commerce marketplace for weird art–that is until they introduced an imaginary cofounder named Keith.

When Penelope Gazin and Kate Dwyer decided to start their own online marketplace for weird art, they didn’t expect it to be easy. After all, the L.A.-based duo of artists were bootstrapping the project with a few thousand dollars of their own money and minimal tech skills. But it wasn’t just a tight budget that added friction to the slow crawl toward launching; the pair also faced their share of doubt from outsiders, spanning from the condescending to the outright sexist.

“When we were getting started, we were immediately faced with ‘Are you sure? Does this sound like a good idea?’,” says Dwyer. “I think because we’re young women, a lot of people looked at what we were doing like, ‘What a cute hobby!’ or ‘That’s a cute idea.’” [ Fast Company ]

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