We love to see women truly investing in women, and this article from Forbes makes a case that 2018 can be a stellar year for women with capital funding women entrepreneurs. Read on to discover how a growing movement to stand up to sexism and reduced opportunities for women has been galvanized by diverse funding models, a focus on underrepresented entrepreneurs, angel investors, efforts to bridge the gap in venture capital and elsewhere, and women putting their money to work for their causes—and for other women—to truly make a difference.
By Geri Stengel, WOMEN@FORBES
Evidence has found that women business owners start and raise less capital than their male counterparts. Yet, the credit risk of women-owned firms that are six or more years old are indistinguishable from their male counterparts, according to Small Business Credit Survey Report on Women-Owned Firms. The under-capitalization of women-owned firms places significant limits on their growth.
Women’s activism to correct this injustice has been building, as evidenced by the rising tide of financing options for women entrepreneurs. Now, the #MeToo movement could bring a tidal wave of funding as women are inspired to stand up and speak out against sexism.
Whether you have $25 or $25 million, here’s how women have made it possible for you to help create a tsunami of funding for women entrepreneurs.
- Jessica Jackley cofounded Kiva so people could lend small amounts of money to entrepreneurs in the developing world. In 2009, Kiva brought its crowdfunding micro-lending model to the U.S. With a little help from friends, U.S. women entrepreneurs can raise up to a $10,000, interest-free loan through Kiva. Typically, five to 30 people you know can lend as little as $25. The rest comes from the Kiva lender community. It’s not just micro businesses which need small loans but scaling businesses too.
- Catherine Berman and Yuliya Tarasava founded CNote. It enables savers to earn 40X greater return than a saving account by investing in women- and minority-owned businesses. It’s first product provides 2.5% interest versus the 0.06% traditional banks offer. CNote invests 100% of your dollars in Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). These loans range from a few thousand dollars to $500,000.
- Vicki Saunders created SheEO’s Radical Generosity to provide women entrepreneurs with larger interest-free loans. In the U.S., five hundred women (activators) make a tax-deductible contribution of $1,100, (including a $100 processing fee). Entrepreneurs compete to be one of five to divide the kitty. Activators not only become financiers but, similar to angel investors, share their expertise, connections and marketing support to help grow the companies they support.