Are you a woman business owner seeking angel investor capital? Harvard Business Review recently reported on a growing trend: More women are becoming angel investors. Studies show that women make up just 10-15% of angel investors and venture capitalists.
Why does this matter? Because angel investors tend to put their money where their comfort zone lies—and unfortunately, for most men that still means investing in businesses owned and run by other men.
The good news with the growth of women angels is that the trend works both ways. As more women become angel investors, they too are likely to invest where they feel comfortable—with other women. HBR cites data from the Kauffman Foundation showing that venture capital funds that include women invest in women business owners 70 percent of the time. As women-owned businesses grow, they create the next generation of women who have the potential to become sophisticated angel investors.
If you’re seeking angel capital from women angels, here are some networks to know about:
- The Pipeline Fellowship program trains women philanthropists to become angel investors and helps connect them with businesses that have a socially or environmentally responsible mission.
- Astiais a global nonprofit dedicated to building women leaders and accelerating the growth of high-potential women-led startups. The organization trains entrepreneurs and angel investors and helps bring entrepreneurs in search of funding together with investors.
- Golden Seeds has an angel network of 250 men and women dedicated to investing in women-run companies. The angel network is the fourth largest in the country and was the third most active in terms of deals done in 2011. The Golden Seeds Knowledge Institute trains women to become angel investors and venture capitalists.
All three of the organizations hold events and pitch meetings where entrepreneurs can meet with potential angels to promote their businesses.
What else do you need to know? Although these networks are focused on accelerating the growth of women-owned businesses, they’re also focused on getting good returns for investors. That means your business model, business plan and ROI for the investors will need to be top-notch. Just because you’re a woman doesn’t automatically give you an edge. While there may be a perception that women angels are easier to get money from or will be more sympathetic and less numbers-driven, in reality today’s women angels will be just as tough on you as would any man—so you’d better know your stuff.
Image by Flickr user temari09 (Creative Commons)Google+