Why Female CEOs Are Getting More Funding
You’ve probably heard the statistics. Women are starting businesses at one and a half times the national average. Yet female founders receive just 25 percent of angel investments in the U.S., and companies with a woman CEO get just 3 percent of venture capital.
Investment groups such as Golden Seeds and BELLE Capital USA, which bankroll women-led companies, have worked toward shrinking this financing gap for years. Same goes for mentorship organizations such as Springboard Enterprises and Astia, which educate women on raising capital and provide access to it. But lately they have a lot of company. Angel investment groups and boot camps designed to get female entrepreneurs funded and more women to the investment table are cropping up throughout the U.S.: X Squared Angels, 37 Angels and Pipeline Fellowship, to name a few.
Andrea Paul, co-founder of Board Vitals, approached 37 Angels in 2013 when seeking $500,000 in seed money for her medical test-prep platform. Two investors from the group contributed, and several introduced the MD-turned-entrepreneur to educational publishers that now provide content for the startup’s online question bank.
“There’s definitely value in having female mentors, female VCs and female angels to make you feel like you’re not the only woman out there doing this,” says Paul, who’s based in New York. “We haven’t found this level of support anywhere else, and we believe it’s due to successful women who want to help the next generation of female founders along.”
Angela Lee founded 37 Angels in 2012 for that exact reason. Women account for only…
A Look at the Foundational Statistics In This Article
Being a female founder isn’t easy, but the statistics don’t tell the real story either. Let’s take a look at the ones at the beginning of this article.
- ” Women are starting businesses at one and a half times the national average.” Even though this statement is true, these businesses include a wide variety of small and often parttime businesses that will never be the type of company in which investors invest.
- “Female founders receive just 25 percent of angel investments in the U.S.” If that number is correct then I would be astonished, because I haven’t seen a ratio of 1:4 at any type of pitch event I have attended. Which would mean that women are much better at networking and reaching investors than men are overall.
- “Woman CEO[s] get just 3 percent of venture capital.” This statistic makes sense to me, because women founders tend to be represented at major technology or business events in about this percentage 3-5%.
- One of the other challenges that I find with opening statements like these is that none of the sources of the statistics is listed, so there is no way to confirm or argue the statistics from a truly foundational basis. When you are reading an article with unsourced statistics, always be especially sceptical: figures may not lie, but liars figure.
– Cynthia Kirkeby