Yes, You Can! Ways Women Can Attract Business Investment (With A Little Help)
Women operate 30 percent of all businesses in the United States. Yet, of the businesses with annual incomes of $1 million-plus, only 1.8 percent of those are women-run. But as Julia Pimsleur, founder of the Double Digit Academy, writes in Forbes, this trend might begin to reverse as more and more female entrepreneurs are participating in accelerators, incubators, and in workshops such as the Double Digit Academy. Such workshops train attendees to deliver better pitches and attract capital to launch or boost their businesses. These groups have already helped women increase their businesses. According to a American Express OPEN study of women CEOs, the number of women-run businesses with $10 million in annual revenue has already gone up by over 50 percent in the last decade.
But while women are starting businesses at 2:1 ratio compared to men, some small business experts wonder if they will survive past the five-year or 10-year mark. “This depends in part on their ability to raise funds and to take their companies to the next level,” writes Pimsleur. According to Pimsleur, among the biggest obstacles women feel they face in starting new businesses include:
1) A fear of going all in. Women, according to studies are more risk-averse than men. But in the world of entrepreneurship you have to be willing to take chances.
2) Getting start-up money. It is just a fact, that women hare a harder time at attracting investors for their businesses. “Only about 20% of angel investment is made in women-run businesses and 4% of venture capital,” notes Pimsleur. On top of this, women are more reluctant to ask for money.
5) Inability to be confident in their pitches. According to Pimsleur, she tells women who attend her Academy that when they are presenting to investors to “channel your inner Oprah.”
To get you started, do a quick search on MadameNoire Business for “accelerators” and “incubators” to learn about some of the news and organizations in this are, particularly those focused on women and minorities. Also, take a look at AngelList, a site that has all sorts of information for and about startups.