Women business owners are increasing on a global scale, but according to a recent New York Times article, funding remains one of the biggest challenges that female entrepreneurs face, a phenomenon that we’ve also witnessed with our female Fellows in the Birthing of Giants community. Investment capital remains elusive for a majority of women business owners, who often choose to bootstrap their companies instead. Attracting funding, however, doesn’t have to be a man’s game. The NYT article had some great tips for seeking out and attracting venture capital.
- Show What You’re Worth – “Half the challenge is seeing things through the lens of potential funders.” Put yourself in the investor’s shoes and envision the answers to their questions that will give them a full picture of your experience, what your business is doing, and how you’ll use their investment to scale.
- Find Your Tribe – We thought this was a great idea, perhaps unsurprisingly, since our masterclass and entrepreneurship programs utilize community and accountability to achieve goals. Join or pull together a small group of diverse women business owners and meet regularly to set goals and hold each other accountable. “Come up with two or three concrete things to do each month, so you have accountability, which is imperative in the initial stages of entrepreneurship.”
- Seek Out Funding Opportunities – According to the author, funding events like pitch contests, accelerators and incubators are great ways to seek funding, if only to hone your skills at pitching your business. “Even if you don’t win, you create an ecosystem, connect with potential advisers and build your network.”
- Don’t Be Afraid To Think Boldly – Women are full of ideas and have a great moral compass for how to use business to change the world for the better, but they also tend to be very realistic about their business ideas and conservative about how much funding they need. In addition to good metrics, investors want to believe in what they’re investing in, so don’t be shy to boast about your ideas and speak to your convictions. Consider it a two part formula for success.
- How About Crowdfunding? – Admittedly this is a lesser used option, but very effective for certain businesses, and doesn’t usually involve giving away equity. “There are also a few crowdfunding platforms specifically for female entrepreneurs, such as iFundWomen and Women You Should Fund.”
- Tell. Everybody. – Women tend to keep their ideas or fledgling business close to the vest, but sharing your ideas and business challenges with your network often helps refine your plans and solve challenges. At both our Fellowship program and entrepreneur community Gatherings, we use the One Year From Today plan to encourage honest sharing between business owners. It’s the best way to hit your goals and refine your ideas. Don’t be shy to share!
It’s thrilling to see more and more women business owners bursting into entrepreneurship and creating businesses that make millions AND change the world around us for the better. As this trend continues, I expect to see more and more women entrepreneurs attracting venture capital for their brilliant ideas.
You can read the New York Times article in its original form at their website.