VC Funding: It's Time to Invest in Female Entrepreneurs

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By Laura Vanderkam (Writer, 168 Hours) New York - It was a scene straight out of the 1990s: A web start-up, flush with nearly $1 million in new investor cash, threw a party at a downtown bar to toast that success. But here's the 2011 twist to the story of DailyWorth, a daily e-mail newsletter of financial tips: the founder, Amanda Steinberg, isn’t a 24-year-old male Stanford dropout. She’s a thirtysomething mom of two who is determined to change the image of what a serious entrepreneur looks like.

“I started this thing with the vision of having millions of subscribers from day one,” Amanda says. She spent 10 years in the tech world and saw many “half-baked business models.” She knew she could “do a much better job.”

That might be true — but Amanda is one of the rare women who has convinced the so-called angels and venture capital investors who fund start-ups of that fact. Women own 29% of all businesses, according to a recent American Express study. Yet various expert calculations find they receive well under 10% of all equity financing. Many female entrepreneurs either use their own funds or take out bank loans to grow. These methods have their merits, but also their limits.

According to AmEx, women-owned businesses employ just 6% of the country’s workforce and contribute less than 4% of overall business revenue. Read more »

This post was originally published on 168 Hours. Photo of Amanda Steinberg above taken by Lisa Sklar on March 30, 2011 at the DailyWorth funding celebration with friends, family and investors.

About the guest blogger: Laura Vanderkam is a journalist and author of Grindhopping: Build a Rewarding Career without Paying Your Dues (McGraw-Hill, 2007. She is a member of USA Today’s Board of Contributors, and her work has also appeared in the Wall Street Journal, City Journal, Scientific American, Reader’s Digest, Reason, and other publications. A 2001 graduate of Princeton, she enjoys writing fiction, running, and singing soprano. Laura lives with her husband and two young boys in New York City.