You probably know a woman who runs her own business. Think for a minute.
Okay, got one? Good!
Your aunt, hairdresser, former swim coach, or whoever you’re thinking of, is one of 11.6 million female business owners in the U.S.
And while female business owners are totally crushing it in the open market right now, we believe there should be a heck of a lot more of them. So what’s holding so many women back from starting businesses?
The Big Hurdle for Women in Business
Getting money. Yup, it’s that simple.
Printing business cards, renting office space, hiring a website developer, and especially keeping the company mini fridge stocked with La Croix, all cost money.
Right when an entrepreneur, male or female, comes up with their BIG IDEA, they have to start thinking of ways to fund it. One of the most common ways for a startup to gain capital (aka $) is through Venture Capitalists (aka people or businesses who invest lots of $ in startups).
The idea is: You walk into a boardroom filled with very important Venture Capitalists, begin your slide deck, bravely pitch your startup, field all their questions, and then wait to see if they’ll hand you a big check. But there’s a catch. (At least for half the population.)
On average, women receive less than 3% of all venture capital funding. And when a business that is founded or co-founded by a woman does receive VC, it’s less than half the amount that businesses founded and co-founded by men receive on average—compare $935,000 to $2.1 million.
…It’s okay if your blood is boiling a little bit right now. Ours is too, but let’s dive a little deeper.
Why Do Women Receive Less Venture Capital Funding?
There are 2 main reasons.
The first comes from a massive gender imbalance among the Venture Capitalists themselves: Over 92% of VCs at the top 100 firms are men! Alongside that, Amanda Pressner Kreuser, the co-founder of Masthead Media and an award winning journalist, writes:
Research shows that investors tend to back entrepreneurs who have similar backgrounds to their own, so if a female entrepreneur is pitching to a room of all-male VCs, she’s already working at a big disadvantage.
The second main reason comes from some smarties at Harvard Business Review. Their research shows that female entrepreneurs are typically asked why it wouldn’t work, while male entrepreneurs are asked how fast their product could scale. #Shook
Where Does AngeLink Come In?
Our little blue angel icon may look cute and cuddly, but statistics like these get us fired up!
In fact, our founder, Gerry Poirier, personally witnessed investor bias during her career as a Venture Capitalist, which spanned two decades. Being the only woman in the boardroom most of the time inspired her to launch the first ever female-centric FinTech (Financial Technology) platform: AngeLink, the website you’re on right now!
Want to Help Solve the Problem You Just Read About?
AngeLink also hosts an ongoing fundraising campaign that gives starter funds to brilliant, up and coming female entrepreneurs. Want to pitch in? Click here to learn more and partner with us!
Female entrepreneurs are completely disenfranchised. And we simply won’t have it! Because when women rise, we all rise!