Women in business can face many obstacles as they seek funding and capital to start and grow their businesses. Gender bias still exists and often, female-driven companies have to get really creative for start-up funds.
The statistics don’t lie. Less than 3% of companies with venture capital funding are female-led. With women leading the way in entrepreneurship, this inconsistency is not only damaging, but it’s also mind-boggling. Until recently, many women in business have had the challenge of using personal funds or private investors for start-up costs.
If you’re a woman in business in need of startup or expansion funds, here are a few simple tips to help get you on track.
seek female investors
One way to start out your pursuit of funding, for your business, the right way is to intentionally seek out female investors. Be selective with your criteria on sites like the Angel Investor Network. You don’t have to solely pitch to women-led capital investment firms, but you will want to include them in your selection. You’ll also want to look into pitch competitions that have at least one female on the judging panel.
Don’t rule out loans just yet. Many small businesses steer clear of loans but the right small business loan might just be what you need to fill your working capital gap. Inclusive, empowering outlets like Change Company could even be a more viable solution in the long term. Look for terms that have low interest rates, payment deferment options, and personal service.
do your research
Starting your own business is never an easy path to take. Entrepreneurship comes with a unique set of challenges and just in how to obtain funding. You’ll want to get comfortable with problem-solving and with navigating failure. Learn from your mistakes and always stay focused on the big goal. Since a lack of access to funding is one of the biggest hurdles you’ll likely face, do your research. Check into venture capital firms that invest in underrepresented founders, such as Backstage Capital. Look for opportunities where you won’t be limited by your gender or race.