Women Who Seek Capital for Their Businesses Can Save the American Economy


By Victoria Pynchon (Co-Founder & Principal, She Negotiates)

According to the Atlantic, the debt ceiling crisis isn’t even real. The authentic crisis is jobs.

According to McKinsey and Co., America needs to create 21 million jobs by 2020 and isn’t getting there fast. “According to the entrepreneurship-focused Kauffman Foundation which just released in Washington a set of proposals called “The Startup Act”, all new net job creation in the US comes from young firms — which are en masse performing today far below par and could use a boost like the issuance of entrepreneurship visas and capital gains waivers for long term investment in startups — both of which would be job creating.

Economic Recovery Depends Upon the Entrepreneurial Class

We’re the ones who are the prime movers of new job creation. That’s what Lesa Mitchell tells us in her post Women Entrepreneurs Are Trapped Within Glass Walls.

“The new firms on their way to becoming big,” she writes, “create the lion’s share of new jobs, and become the anchors for new industries.” The new Google, Apple, and Microsoft. That’s where new jobs are made.

Women start two out of every three new businesses every year yet we receive only three to five percent of all venture capital. That’s not gender discrimination folks. That’s failing to ask. That’s having limited horizons. That’s low self-esteem. That’s not feeling comfortable negotiating the capital your business deserves to grow and create new jobs, which is the key to helping the country out of its current economic free-fall.

You Know You Undervalue Your Services

We’re talking to you, business woman to business woman, professional to professional, executive to executive and manager to manager. When you get a little tipsy with your power-suit women friends, you admit you’re charter members of the low-self-esteem girls’ club even if you graduated from Yale Law or Harvard Business School. Even if you started your own business after ascending the corporate ladder at Intel or Hewlett-Packard.

This isn’t about aggregating power or economic wealth to yourself (though you’re as entitled as is any man to do so if you want). This is about saving the American economy. It’s about being adequately capitalized. It’s about competing in the global marketplace and there’s no room for hesitation there.

Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country.

What you can do right now is to learn to negotiate what you deserve and what you want, not simply what you need. Our online signature “She Negotiates” course begins on August 1. Wrap yourself up in the American flag, ignore the political games being played with our economic well-being in Washington, D.C. Suit up and show up.

Your country is dying for you to shed your fear and act audaciously.

And your sisters are waiting for you to raise the bar for all of us. Be the first women on your block to walk confidently into a venture capital dog-and-pony show or investment bank. Then boast about your success. Your sisters in business will follow.

This post was originally posted on ForbesWoman.

Photo credit: Venture Capital Human Capital Report – Gender, Race, Age, Education Demographics on VC Backed Company Founders

Editor’s note: Got a question for our guest blogger? Leave a message in the comments below.

About the guest blogger: Victoria Pynchon is a Co-Founder and Principal at She Negotiates. She is an attorney-mediator and arbitrator, and writes for the Forbes.com legal blog, On the Docket. Her book, A is for A**hole, the Grownups’ ABCs of Conflict Resolution was released by Reason Press this October and is available on Amazon.com. Victoria holds an LL.M. in Conflict Resolution from the Straus Institute and a law degree from UC Davis King Hall School of Law. Follow her on Twitter at @VickiePynchon.

  • http://sedonapies.com Mari-Lyn Harris

    For me, it’s not because I am not asking, believe me I’ve been asking. It’s getting the funds together so that I can grow and hire people. And of course to get the funds I need to get the paperwork filed, hire a lawyer to help me then go to the people who are interested in doing equity financing with me. However, there are costs, the paperwork, the lawyer, the CPA blah, blah..I personally don’t have the budget to do this. I only know one thing funds are needed. We all got to support startups, and not just write about it, get people to buy a yet another course.

    I agree that it’s up to us..I am just really frustrated with it all. Does this mean I give up my dreams? No, I just keep going be committed to my passion.

  • http://thewaywomenwork.comandmeridianmethod.com Rania Anderson

    In agreement with the article and also want to point out that the vast majority (86%) of women owned businesses have no employees. These companies don’t need VC or even angel capital to grow and add jobs they need to have capacity and intention to grow and they need access to networks and business opportunities. If we could increase that 14% WBO employer-firm figure to a significantly higher percentage we could create many news jobs in our economy.

  • http://blogs.forbes.com/shenegotiates Victoria Pynchon


    I do feel your pain and know the frustrations of raising capital, keeping vendors paid, insuring a steady stream of revenue, and hyperventilating when the start-up money begins to come more from my AmEx card than my revenues. I too do not want a single additional piece of advice (or education or training) about marketing, public relations, branding, etc., etc. For women who AREN’T negotiating (and not raising their fees or the price of their products) negotiation training in a supportive environment of other women executives, managers, professionals and entrepreneurs is a staple – sugar, flour, salt, pepper and crisco. The one thing we have control over is the price we charge and the one thing we women fall behind in is the courage to price high and negotiate only small concessions in exchange for meaningful bargaining moves by our customers and suppliers. If most women can’t afford one more class, I’d still recommend they pick up (on Kindle – cheap!) Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever’s “negotiation workshop in a book” – “Ask for It!” You won’t regret the small expense, I promise. The ROI will be substantial and meaningful. Best of luck to you. Vickie