Excerpts from an article by April Fong
Katherine Hague knows the power of angel investing for an early-stage startup. The founder of Torontobased ShopLocket, an online sales platform for hardware startups, says a $10,000 commitment from angel investor Heather Payne, founder of HackerYou helped launch her company in 2011. Hague later secured $1 million in funding, and then – at the age of 23 – sold ShopLocket for an undisclosed amount to Irish design company PCH International.
Now, Hague is bringing that experience to her latest project, Female Funders, a site dedicated to providing women with “approachable” resources to help them jump into angel investing. Its goal is to encourage 1,000 women to invest in their first venture this year.
With Female Funders, Hague is hoping to help female entrepreneurs overcome one of their biggest challenges: getting funding. While there are a number of female-focused incubators and financing programs to help women pursue their startup dreams, Hague appears to be part of a recent movement urging more women to get on the other side of the table – to become investors themselves.
The hope in initiatives like Female Funders is that, one day, there won’t be a need for programs tailored just to women because the landscape won’t be dominated by men anymore.
Editor’s Note: As a female founder, the numbers are a bit depressing:
Women now lead the way in launching startups, yet attracting venture capital remains a challenge in North America. In Canada, 62 per cent of startups were launched by women in the past year, a survey released in May by Sage North America notes. But between 2011 and 2013, 85 per cent of the 6,793 U.S. businesses funded by venture capital had no women on the executive team, a study by Wellesley, Mass.-based Babson College found. Only 2.7 per cent had a female CEO.