Female Founders: Overcome the Gender Gap & Obtain Funding
The topic of funding for female founders has gained significant traction in recent years, as the issue of gender inequality in the workplace has come to the forefront of public consciousness. While women have made progress in terms of starting businesses and securing funding, there is still a long way to go. In this article, we will discuss the challenges female founders face in terms of accessing funding, and what can be done to address this issue.
Challenges faced by female founders
Securing funding can be a daunting task for any entrepreneur. However, female founders face unique challenges during this process separate from their male counterparts. Some examples of funding challenges unique to female entrepreneurs include:
- Unconscious bias on the part of investors
- Underrepresentation in the investment community
- Different expectations regarding qualifications
- Difficulty finding mentors or advisors
- Access to fewer resources
Unconscious biases and underrepresentation both lead to female founders being overlooked by investors. As a result, women often receive significantly less funding than men, even when they have similar qualifications and business ideas. The inability to receive adequate funding creates a vicious cycle as women who do not receive funding struggle to gain traction and build successful businesses, making it even harder for them to attract investment in the future.
The qualifications women need to meet when seeking funding also pose a unique barrier. Investors often place higher expectations on female entrepreneurs’ track records, i.e., the ability and extent to which they can demonstrate success or their connections in their specific industry. Meeting these expectations can be particularly challenging for women starting their first business. Women often will have not had the same opportunities as their male counterparts to build up their qualifications and experience.
These challenges can make it harder for women to succeed with startups and can contribute to the overall gender gap in terms of funding and success.
What can be done?
- Increase awareness and understanding regarding the challenges women face
- Increase representation of women in the investment community
- Promote initiatives and programs that help female founders secure funding
- Encourage individual investors to target women-led businesses when investing
The first step in addressing the challenges female founders face, is to increase awareness about these challenges. This can be done through education and training programs, media campaigns, and other channels. In order for effective action to be taken, people must first be aware of and understand the problem.
Overcoming the inequities faced by female founders requires women to be better represented in the field. The best way to do this is by directly increasing the number of women in the investment community. This can be done through initiatives that encourage more women to pursue careers in venture capital or other areas within the industry. Making women a part of investment committees and other decision-making bodies is another way to promote representation of women.
The challenges women face specific to financing and entrepreneurship can also be approached directly. There are numerous initiatives and programs specifically designed to help female founders secure funding, for example, accelerators and incubators that focus on supporting women-led businesses.
Individual investors can also help to address the issue by actively seeking out and investing in women-led businesses, either individually or as participants in funding groups. Investors can also act as advocates. Speaking out about the importance of supporting female founders, encouraging others to do the same, and working to promote diversity and inclusion within investment firms and other organizations are all actions a single person can undertake. Taking a proactive stance on these issues helps create a more encouraging environment for female founders.
In addition to the efforts describe above, it's important that the larger landscape of investment and entrepreneurship becomes more accessible for female founders. Initiatives such as mentorship programs, networking events, and other resources can help women to connect with each other and with potential investors and advisors. Providing women with the support and resources they need helps level the playing field and increases the chances of success for female-led startups.
The ability for female founders to secure funding is an important issue, and there is still a long way to go in terms of achieving gender equality for female entrepreneurs. However, by taking steps to address the challenges that women face and working towards creating a more inclusive environment, we ensure that we’re moving in the right direction.
If you're a female founder looking for financing, consider applying on the Jenfi homepage. At Jenfi, our financing offer depends on your revenue and is non-dilutive, meaning you keep all your business equity.