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Thursday, November 29, 2018

Funding Advice for Women in Business

Women discussing funding

There’s plenty of advice for women seeking funding, and we’ve rifled through everything (well, almost everything) to compile a helpful list of funding advice. It can be daunting to seek funding from investors - and the task is often riddled with rejection. But these tips are meant to inspire you to put your best foot forward and change how you approach investors.
Prioritize the relationship

You will spend a lot of time with your investors, so it’s important to make sure the chemistry is there. Personal connections, like a shared alma mater, will give you an edge over the competition. Make you’re your investors are knowledgeable about your industry so that they can mentor you about specific industry terms and common setbacks - this kind of insight is invaluable to a new business.

Speak their language

Quantitative data is crucial to your pitch, yet a surprising amount of investors don’t have the numbers to back up their claims. Investors tend to question women about their finances, expecting them to stumble along their projections, and they tend to phrase business questions in terms of losses. So, familiarize yourself with your financial statements and projections for the next couple months, and even further into the future. Ultimately, investors want a return on their investment - and it’s up to you to assuage their financial concerns by proving your business has high-growth potential.

Tell your story the right way

For women in a male-biased market, storytelling is crucial. In fact, Harvard research shows that women are judged more harshly on performance than they are on business potential. So, don’t lose your investors in strict financial analysis and growth projections. Instead, entice them into caring about your product. Good storytelling involves pitching concisely and with confidence, and it’s a skill you can develop with practice. Discuss your company’s mission, the problem your product addresses, and what kind of feedback you’ve received from the market. Always mention your personal story. This will help you build a connection with your audience - and don’t get intimidated by the sea full of men you’ll likely pitch to.

Networking

More and more investors are now looking to diversify by adding female-owned businesses to their repertoire - take advantage of this. A strong network adds value to your business by sourcing your investment opportunities, generating referrals, and ensuring your company’s visibility. Networking relationships are reciprocal: your company is expected to provide a service that’s useful to your colleagues and vice versa.

Follow our advice for women seeking funding to get your business off to a great start. There are many hurdles for women seeking funding that men simply don’t experience. Change starts with an innovative idea, a plan to implement it, and the drive to see it through to the end - if you have these, then you can impact the way venture capitalists approach funding.