By Pemo Theodore (Founder, EZebis)
I spent 5 years in London trying to raise funding for my online matchmaking business, and in the end had to admit failure. Very early on in that journey, I had committed to help women source venture when I was successful. As it turns out, I have been doing just that for the last year — not because I was successful but because I failed.
I have been video interviewing venture capitalists, angel investors and women founders on the shortfall in funding for women. My goal has been to listen to as many people as I could from both sides of the table, so I could hopefully determine where all these conversations intersected.
The Unequal Landscape
The financial industry was created by men and it has been revealed over the last few years that they didn’t do such a great job with that. Women still are not generally paid as high as men. Despite growth, the average revenues of the majority of women-owned businesses were still only 27% of the average of majority men-owned businesses.
The statistics for women entrepreneurs achieving funding are very low: 3-5% get venture funded, less than 10% even if you expand that to include the entire team and any of the co-founders. Around 16% women achieve angel capital, according to a whitepaper by Illuminate Ventures. Data shows that the percentage of dollars going into women led companies have actually declined by about 30% over the last 10 years. Is there a bias at work in the culture that keeps women disadvantaged as regards finance?