Get this: women receive only 2% of venture capital funding despite owning 38% of businesses.
According to a 2020 survey by WeBC, a majority of female business owners don’t have sources of long-term funding, despite 70% of female business owners expressing the need to access funding to support their growth.
Are we surprised? Not really.
Many of the women I work with have difficulty reaching out for financial support. Despite data suggesting that funded businesses fare better, an increasing number of women rely solely on self-funding. That’s a lot of pressure!
Running a business requires calculated risk and long-term thinking, it can be difficult to do those things when you’re concerned about paying the bills. Receiving funding for your business reduces financial anxiety and frees up time and energy to focus on more important things, like growing your business.
I encourage all entrepreneurs to step into their pursuits fearlessly. But where does one start?
Change your relationship with debt
Women generally tend to be more risk-averse than their male counterparts. Although there are many pros to being more risk-averse—hello longer lifespan!—it's important to recognize the weaknesses of playing it safe, too. When it comes to building our businesses, this can sometimes manifest as us taking less risk and reaping less reward.
In day-to-day life, being cautious has enormous benefits! There’s more safety and less accidents. However, if you’re hoping to grow your business, receiving a business loan can be enormously helpful. Yes, it’s a risk. But it comes with great reward. It might allow you to hire assistance or fund an even better, more lucrative product than what you initially imagined.
The question shouldn’t be are you willing to take on debt? The question was always are you willing to invest in your business?
You do not need to execute perfectly to receive funding
I used to be worried about all of the things that could go wrong if I received funding and things didn’t go according to plan. What if I made a mistake? What if the business got too big and I couldn’t manage it properly? What if I did something so horribly wrong that no one ever wanted to work with me again? These are all normal concerns!
Eventually I realized if I wanted to see my business succeed in the long-term, I had to put my short-term worries aside. Yes, failure is always a possibility, but it should never prevent you from trying. In fact, I would argue that failure is an essential part of being an entrepreneur. If you’re not failing sometimes, you’re not doing it right!
Failure feels terrible, but the concern should never detract from your long-term vision, and it certainly shouldn’t get in the way of you applying for funding and opportunities. Everyone makes mistakes on their path to success.
Get the funding. Make the mistakes. We’ll be right there along with you.
Apply, apply, apply
You’ve probably heard the statistic that women will only apply for a job if they meet all of the job requirements, whereas men will apply if they meet only 60% of the requirements. Similarly, over the lifespan of a business, only a quarter of women will seek out funding for their businesses (read this blog to find out why) whereas 34% of men will seek out funding.
There are many reasons why this might be the case, but the solution is almost always the same: apply anyway. If for some reason you get funded but change your mind, you can always say no. So it doesn’t hurt to try.
If you have questions about building a funding strategy for your business, I can help you as an Executive Coach. I invite you to book a free coaching consultation with me today.