There’s no doubt that women-led start-ups are on the rise. From shattering glass ceilings to breaking down barriers, women have proven themselves to be a force to be reckoned with in the business world. However, despite the rise of women entrepreneurs, they still encounter tremendous challenges when it comes to accessing capital.
According to the Pitchbook report, in 2019, companies founded solely by women received just 2.7% of the total venture capital funding, and the numbers continue to be staggeringly low. But, the good news is that the narrative is changing, and there are more female founders who have successfully raised funding than ever before. In this post, we delve deeper into strategies and insights from leading female founders who have navigated fundraising to help female entrepreneurs achieve success.
Be Resilient: Mahisha Dellinger, founder of Curls Beauty Brands, raised funds for her business which sold natural hair care products for women of color. She was persistent and determined while pitching her business to investors. She didn’t shy away from making countless phone calls and sending numerous emails to secure investment. Her advice to female founders is to leverage your tenacity and be willing to put in the effort, even if it seems uphill.
Build a Great Team: Susan Coelius Keplinger, founder of Triggit, a company that operated a managed service for RTB-based digital ad campaigns, suggests that entrepreneurs should focus on building a great team. According to Susan, having a strong team with a combination of intellect and various skill sets and experiences is the key to success. A strong team is attractive to investors who look out for a team that has the energy, capacity, and mindset to grow their business.
Adopt a Customer-centric Approach, Always: Emily Weiss founded Glossier, the skin and beauty company that connects customers directly with the maker. From the onset, the company adopted a customer-centric approach, and according to Weiss, that approach is one of the reasons why Glossier has been a success story. The company launched a blog and utilized social media to cultivate a community of customers who were loyal to the brand. The customer-first approach sets brands apart and is crucial when pitching to investors.
Know Your Numbers: Ann Miura-Ko, co-founder of Floodgate, a venture capital firm investing in early-stage technology companies, advises founders to know their numbers inside out. Miura-Ko emphasizes that understanding your income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statements are essential when seeking to fund. Investors are looking for companies that can articulate their financial metrics and projections.
Female founders have shattered ceilings and proven themselves to be a force to be reckoned with in the business world. However, securing funding is still a challenging issue that continues to affect female entrepreneurs’ success rates. But, with determination, a strong team, and a customer-centric approach, women can overcome obstacles and help their businesses thrive. And even more importantly, female entrepreneurs have access to strategies and insights from leading female founders who have navigated fundraising successfully to help them pave their way to success.