Gesche Haas leads Dreamers // Doers, a business initially built as co-working sessions for 100 women. The business has grown into a social network of thousands of female entrepreneurs since its launch in 2013. Dreamers // Doers aims to increase the number of successful ventures launched by women, encouraging them to elevate their businesses and provide mutual support.
Background and Education of Haas
Born in Africa to German and Chinese parents, Haas was raised in Germany, Malaysia, and Singapore. She graduated from Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) and worked as an investor at a hedge fund before transitioning into strategy, growth, and business development roles at venture-backed startups.
The Growth of Dreamers // Doers
Dreamers // Doers, with a base in New York and branches in eight cities worldwide, is a highly curated referral and membership-based forum. It focuses on personality over pedigree. The community encompasses women from various backgrounds, and interactions take place via private online groups.
Empathy in Leadership
Haas’s entrepreneurial journey had its challenges, which she believes enable her to empathize with the entrepreneurs she works with. She strongly believes in the potential of female founders and advises them to fundraise only if it suits their company and life trajectory.
Leveraging the Internet
Dreamers // Doers leverages the Internet as an enabler of communities and sharing of resources. The platform facilitates mentorship, collaboration, and friendship among members. It also extends beyond online conversations with listings of press opportunities, a weekly digest newsletter, and offline events.
Addressing a Void in the Market
Haas launched Dreamers & Doers in 2013 to address the lack of resources or communities for female entrepreneurs like her. Despite initial skepticism from her personal and professional circles, Haas found that external endorsement was critical to taking her role as a leader seriously.
Promoting Visibility with PR Hype Machine
This realization led Haas to offer press opportunities through a program called PR Hype Machine. Dreamers & Doers has partnered with various content platforms, and its members have been featured more than 1,500 times in over 250 articles. According to Haas, PR Hype Machine offers a valuable pathway to credibility for women founders.
Changing Trajectories and Future Goals
Dreamers & Doers is not just changing the trajectory of individual businesses but also influencing the broader landscape for women entrepreneurs. Looking ahead, Dreamers & Doers plans to extend its offerings and continue supporting women entrepreneurs in turning their dreams into reality.