🎉 Tickets to SUMMIT, don't get sued, $30k grant

Our biggest event yet is coming to New York!

Hey, welcome to Female Founder World, the place to meet your Business Besties online and IRL. This is the only newsletter small biz owners need.

👇 Today we're covering

  • 🎟 You’re invited to our biggest event yet: Female Founder World Summit! ✨screaming✨

  • 🔗 Resource roundup

  • 🗞️ Skim the headlines

  • 💥 This beauty brand’s influencer strategy is getting them sued

As we got closer to the end of 2023 we started thinking, “OK, so who’s throwing the end-of-year party for small biz owners, solopreneurs, and founders?” No one, apparently.

So we scratched the rest of Female Founder World’s Q4 plans to host the best, biggest, most inspiring, helpful, fun day for our Business Besties in Brooklyn. And here we are.

Meet: Female Founder World Summit, the ultimate end-of-year party for people who don’t usually get an end-of-year party.

This is part conference, part party. You’ll hear talks from Allison Ellsworth (Poppi), Julie Rice (SoulCycle and Peoplehood), Rooshy Roy (AAVRANI), Adriana Carrig (Little Words Project), Daniella Pierson (The Newsette), Diarrha N'Diaye-Mbaye (Ami Colé), Ariana Ferwerda (Halfdays), Rachel Liverman (Glowbar) and more wildly inspiring speakers. We’ll have a DJ. There will be wine by Nomadica, brand pop-ups, packed gift bags and ✨vibes✨.

We’ve never held an event that didn’t sell out: you know what to do.👇

  • Week 2 of our group biz coaching sessions is happening tonight and it’s FREE thanks to our besties at AMP. Natalie Holloway, the founder of Bala is your mentor this week and will answer your business questions live. 🔗 Tell me more

  • Female founders and founders of color are eligible for this $100k grant. 🔗 Tell me more

  • Applications for the Allure Best of Beauty (basically the Oscars of beauty) close soon! 🔗 Tell me more

  • 71% of retailers are worried people will be spending less this holiday season (thanks, inflation 💔), but this report's predicting spending will be up. It’s worth a read for more predictions about BFCM. 🔗 Tell me more

  • Black Girl Ventures and the NBA want you to win $10,000 for your biz. 🔗 Tell me more

  • SXSW’s iconic pitch competition is open for applications. 🔗 Tell me more

  • Another cool opp from Black Girl Ventures. Pitch for up to $30,000 in grants for your business. 🔗 Tell me more

  • Apply to the Fifteen Percent Pledge Achievement award for cash prizes and a pretty incredible addition to your founder resume. 🔗 Tell me more

TIKTOK: Beverage biz GORGIE went super viral on TikTok and their team broke down exactly why. 1) They used an “instantly recognizable theme” so the main idea of the video was super clear to viewers. 2) The video had “standalone impact,” meaning is a great piece of standalone content without needing any explanation or backstory. 3) “Dynamic editing” helped–they used short cuts and a great hook to keep people watching.

SHEIN: Ultra-fast fashion behemoth SHEIN has been buying up all of their fast-fashion peers. First it was a major partnership with Forever 21, and most recently they announced their acquisition of the UK's Missguided fashion brand.

MONEY: Canadian fragrance brand 7 Virtues landed an undisclosed amount of growth funding from Unilever Ventures and True Beauty Ventures. This is kinda a big deal because it’s the first time both of these big investment firms have back a fragrance brand. 7 Virtues is one to watch—they’re stocked globally in Sephora after getting into the Sephora Accelerate program in 2017.

Sawyer, a marketplace for kid activities started by two former Rent The Runway employees, has been acquired by tech company DaySmart.

RESEARCH: The top states for women entrepreneurs include New York, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, California, Virginia, Massachusetts, Texas, Pennsylvania and Indiana, according to a new study looking at where female founded companies are able to thrive financially. The bottom 10? Kansas, Hawaii, Vermont, Delaware, Rhode Island, West Virginia, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska and Alaska.

BUMBLE: Whitney Wolfe Herd, the founder and current CEO of Bumble announced she’s going to be stepping down. After being the youngest woman to take a company public in 2021 (this was big news!), Whitney is going to be taking on an Executive chair position and leaving the CEO gig to Lidiane Jones, the current CEO at Slack.


  • A sex toy brand did a fake campaign to bypass Meta’s restrictive ads. It’s very lol, enjoy.

  • This Gen-Z helped her mom’s lamp shop go super viral on TikTok. She’s only posted two videos but already has 210k followers, and we’re fascinated. Definitely follow this journey!


  • ‘Tis the season for holiday launches. Food and bev brands Graza, Fishwife, and Ghia all just launched limited-edition gifts. 

  • Rocco, the millennial mini fridge, just launched and we need it.

  • NYC-staple Magnolia Bakery launched CBD-infused desserts.

  • Sheryl Sandberg, the former Meta COO and author of Lean In, has started her own VC firm, Sandberg Bernthal Venture Partners.

This beauty brand’s influencer strategy is getting them sued

They're saying OFRA used music on IG and TikTok without getting a license, and that they profited from it through sales and social media growth. They're also saying influencers posted about OFRA with music they didn't have a license to use, and that OFRA is liable for that too.

Read more about the lawsuit here, but we know you’re asking yourself how TF can I avoid getting sued?

We reached out to an expert in our community for answers because SAME. Shermin Lakha is the Founder and Managing Attorney of LVLUP Legal and specializes in business and intellectual property law. She said a big part of Sony's revenue is in licensing deals with large companies, including with beauty brands like Estee Lauder, Cover Girl, Revlon, etc. By OFRA using Sony's music without a license, Sony’s saying they’ve missed out on potential revenue.

So… what’s the risk?

Honestly, this usage issue could be really expensive for a lot of brands. In the OFRA example, they could have to pay Sony damages for copyright infringement for all of the revenue that OFRA made from sales linked to the social media content using Sony’s music.

At least 329 videos have been identified! This includes sales from videos that OFRA created, reposted, hired social media influencers to create, and—this is important to know—any indirect sales from social media influencers that were not hired but used Sony's music with OFRA's products.

How do I protect my brand?

This will be a landmark case and Shermin says lawsuits like this could become more common. Brands should either get the right license (expensive!) or use royalty-free commercially approved music for their advertisements. Sure, this might impact how well your videos perform, but it’s the safest option.

She says we still don’t even really know whether it is OK for brands to generate revenue off of the sale from social media advertisements used with commercially approved music social media platforms obtained. In many cases, these licenses do not extend to third parties, so brands literally need to read the Terms of Service for each platform.

What about influencers?

Shermin says brands need to have a clause in all influencer contracts that states the influencer must use royalty free music approved for commercial use on those platforms. You also need to review the content they post or repost to make sure music isn’t violating copyright law and possibly even monitor hashtags associated with your brand!

“Brands should also have a limited liability clause, and most importantly an indemnity clause in their contracts. An indemnity clause will ensure that the brand is not liable if the social media influencer gets sued by a third party for violating their contract,” Shermin told Female Founder World.

Should I delete my past videos?

“Even if a brand or influencer removes the content, it does not absolve them from any legal liability that may have occurred while the video was still public. In this instance, even if OFRA takes down the videos, they still retained profits which Sony can claim as part of its damages,” Shermin said.

Lots of brands do this. Why aren’t they being sued?

Shermin answered: “I think that more brands have not been sued because it takes a lot of time, money, and resources to file a lawsuit. Also, I do think that artists benefit off of their songs or audio trending on social media platforms like TikTok. We have seen unknown artists become famous due to TikTok trends, so it also does lead to the argument that these trends can benefit the music industry and artists.”

Why is some music OK to use?

Royalty-free or commercially approved music can be used in ads and for business purposes, and social media platforms often have a library of those sounds that you can use. If an influencer wants to use a song without a license, they should do so on content that is not in a collaboration, paid, or gifted post.

Here’s where it gets really challenging: A lot of influencers will review products on their own accord which lead to indirect sales for the brand. This could potentially lead to damages for the brand. To be safe, Shermin says influencers need to protect themselves by using royalty-free music, too. And if influencers do use other music, to ensure that it is not in relation to any products or brands.

That this is not legal advice and you should speak to an attorney if you have legal questions.

A quick shoutout to everyone gearing up for BFCM. Godspeed, bestie. You got this!