MARCH 1, 2020
It’s March, which means—hooray!—it’s Women’s History Month. It’s during this month that I find the reason for the existence of IFundWomen, the company created by me and my co-founders, Kate Anderson and Sarah Sommers, resounds most profoundly.
Let me explain why.
We started IFundWomen three years ago to solve a massive problem: the total lack of funding options for early-stage female entrepreneurs. Companies founded by women receive 2.8% of all venture dollars. Women of color receive a fraction of this, a mere 0.32%. (Pitchbook & Project Diane) And when women do get venture funding, we start with 50% less working capital than our male counterparts despite the fact that businesses founded by women deliver two times higher revenue per dollar invested than those founded by men. (BCG)
What do women do when they cannot access the capital needed to fund our businesses? We go into credit card debt, or we take out loans featuring both less capital as the loan amount and higher interest rates than men receive. (Fundera) This, despite women paying back loans in a more timely fashion than our male counterparts. (WSJ)
Crucially, however, the funding gap facing women entrepreneurs is not just about a lack of access to capital. It’s also about the lack of access to coaches and mentors, who have “been there, done that,” to guide new women entrepreneurs in the process. And, it’s about the absence of a community of sisters in the hustle helping each other and lifting each other up along the way.
To solve these problems, we conceptualized and built IFundWomen. We built a platform where women entrepreneurs have access to all the things, all while lifting each other up. There are infinite seats at this new table—space for all.
In the past three years of lifting each other up, we’ve made history, together:
- IFundWomen has supported women entrepreneurs that have raised over $30M in startup capital.
- IFundWomen alumni have created over 1,000 new jobs in the United States.
- The crowdfunders who used IFundWomen’s proprietary coaching methodology raised 27x more money than they would have on another more traditional fundraising platform.
- 32% of IFundWomen alumni went on to raise traditional venture capital.
- 20% of IFundWomen alumni took out hard to qualify for bank loans.
- Our product manager, Maya Brooks, won “2019 Best Product With Social Impact” from The Product Group.
In short, IFundWomen enables the members of our community to make history by providing the tools women need to raise capital, make connections, and grow their businesses.
Now, to begin this new decade, IFundWomen is marking Women’s History Month by unveiling version 3.0 of our platform. Besides being both prettier and more user-friendly, the new IFundWomen platform provides even more opportunities for access to capital, including a new brokered grants product that enables corporations, municipalities, and generous humans to give grants to rising entrepreneurs across all business sectors.
We love our new baby, and really hope that you will too. Please check her out and tell us what you think!
On behalf of Kate, Sarah, and the entire (growing!) team at IFundWomen, I hope you’ll not just visit our website, but join our movement, and fund startups.
Here’s to women once again making history, and to #AllTheMoneyForAllTheWomenNow.