Do you ever feel like you are pushing a boulder up a hill?
The fact that female-founded companies received 2.3% of VC dollars in 2020 compared to 2.8% in 2019 seems quite fitting for the dumpster fire that was 2020, however, it doesn't make this stat any less abhorrent. The capital markets are frothy AF and “rich getting richer” venture capital investment vehicles like SPACs received over $50B in investments in 2020 alone, during a global pandemic when Main Street America, the backbone of our economy, is getting decimated.
For those who don’t know—there’s no shame in the game here—a SPAC is a “Special Purpose Acquisition Company” with no commercial operations i.e., a shell company, that is formed strictly to raise venture capital through an Initial Public Offering (IPO) for the purpose of acquiring an existing company to take them public. The reason I’m pissed about the rise of SPACS is that hundreds of billions of dollars are being poured into these shell companies, and all it’s doing is making the dudes richer. But, simply put, where my ladies at?
The vicious, biased cycle of venture capital continues during a global pandemic, while there are female founders solving real problems in mental and physical health, biotech, fintech, edtech—who deserve and need funding.
We deserve funding, not because of our gender, but because our companies perform better.
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Looking for the right hashtags is a lot like trying to perfect a new recipe. The more you experiment, the more informed you become on the various combinations resulting in a delicious dish. Hashtags can be applied in a similar way. There are an endless number of tags you can use, but you quickly learn that some are better suited to your content than others.
While there’s no one-size fits all hashtag strategy for entrepreneurs, there are three key areas to pay close attention to: how hashtags fit into your social media strategy; identifying targeted and relevant hashtags for your business; and measuring hashtag performance.
Not-so-humble-brag: As of August of 2020, 10% of IFundWomen Members surveyed specifically about PPP, received Paycheck Protection Program loans. Compare this with 5%, which is the total proportion of female-owned companies that reported getting PPP loans during the same time period.
Here’s what we know:
Here's what we don’t know:
How many women applied to PPP nationally but elected to not specify their gender for fear of getting rejected.
In fact, I did not specify my gender when I applied for IFundWomen’s PPP (which we were approved for), so IFundWomen itself is not represented in the 5%. Another nuance: IFundWomen was listed on the SBA website in the over $150K loan category, where there could be more savvy WOBs who didn't specify their gender, so theoretically, the SBA number could be higher than 5% but I doubt it's much higher.
It's my opinion that most women don't realize that the banks and financial institutions actually ding women borrowers because of a whole host of factors like credit scores, assets in the bank, lack of high-level relationships with the banks, and that the cards are literally stacked against them. So, these deserving women-owned businesses who dutifully specified their gender on their PPP application, thinking that it would be helpful, got dinged again. Reminder, this is my educated opinion on this subject on which I'm an expert. There is no way to get this data set.
Ok, so why are IFundWomen founders so successful? I’ll tell you.