Despite progress toward gender equality, women entrepreneurs continue to encounter major difficulties in obtaining funding for their enterprises. This blog post intends to provide essential tactics for female entrepreneurs navigating this complex field of fundraising.

Understanding Gender Inequality

The gender disparity in start-up funding is well-documented. Women-led enterprises routinely obtain a disproportionately small percentage of venture financing when compared to their male colleagues, according to studies.

According to a survey of 930 tech employees, and investors by Women Who Tech, “70% of women reported differential treatment while raising funding, specifically because of their gender.”

Click to read the top findings from the 2023 Women Who Tech Report 

The causes of this disparity are numerous, ranging from implicit biases to systemic difficulties within the financial sector:

  1. Implicit bias and traditional gender roles
  2. Networking disparities
  3. Lack of representation
  4. Education and career choices

Implicit Bias and Traditional Gender Roles

Traditional gender roles are cultural expectations and standards about the actions, duties, and qualities that are judged appropriate for people based on their gender. While there has been progress in challenging and redefining these roles, remnants of these expectations remain in numerous areas of our lives including business. For example, Men are expected to show strength, assertiveness, and independence, while women are expected to be nurturing, empathetic and submissive. Unfortunately, a person needs a certain level of assertiveness when approaching venture capitalists; and this can create anxiety for women who might be judged as being aggressive while trying to show confidence.

Networking Exclusion

In businesses dominated by men, networking events may be structured around hobbies and topics that are not as inclusive for women. This can make women feel less welcome or make it difficult to interact with people in those areas. The environment at some gatherings may be unwelcoming or uncomfortable in general.

Lack of Representation

The absence of female representation in venture capital companies and angel investor networks might contribute to a lack of awareness and support for women-led ventures.

Education and Career Choices

The underrepresentation of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) sectors can limit the pool of female entrepreneurs in tech-related startups. Because many businesses arise from these disciplines, a lack of gender diversity in STEM education can contribute to a similar lack of diversity in the startup scene.

Strategies for Overcoming Funding Challenges

The following tactics can assist women in obtaining funding for their startups.

  1. Build a strong network
  2. Leverage women-focused funding platforms
  3. Develop a strong pitch deck
  4. Educate Investors About Diversity and Inclusion
  5. Seek mentorship and guidance
  6. Be persistent and resilient

Build a Strong Network

Search out ways to broaden your network. Attend industry events, join groups, and make use of networking platforms like Linkedin. Write articles or posts that show your expertise. LinkedIn is also a great platform to meet investors. You can send a connection request to a person you admire. When doing so, be genuine and personal. You can mention specific aspects of the person’s work that resonate with you.

Leverage Women-Focused Funding Platforms

Explore funding platforms that are particularly created to assist women entrepreneurs. These platforms include the Female Founders Fund, BBG Ventures, and Women Who Tech. These organizations invest and provide a supportive atmosphere for female founders to thrive. Moreover, you can track grant opportunities for women. Several competitions are open yearly for women to take part.

Here are some grants and competitions for women open yearly:

  1. Amber Grant for Women
  2. Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards
  3. Aurora Tech Awards

Some of these awards may be closed at the moment, but you can keep monitoring until they open for the year.

Check our business grants and programs page to apply for many opportunities

Develop a Strong Pitch Deck 

Your pitch deck has to be simple yet compelling. Generally, it should contain information about your company’s vision and value proposition. You should explain the problem your company solves and the possible impact it can have.

Tips for an effective pitch deck:

  1. Make it easy to understand. Avoid using complicated words and sentences.
  2. Make it legible. Use large text and make sure the text and background have good contrast.
  3. Keep it brief. You should have less than 10 slides in total.
  4. Do not use complicated illustrations.

Here’s our practical guide for putting together a simple and effective pitch deck

Educate Investors About Diversity and Inclusion

Make use of your social media platform to educate investors on the value of diversity. Provide information about the importance of diversity in venture capital funding. For example, customers are increasingly looking for goods and services from companies that promote diversity and inclusion. By assisting women-led firms, venture capitalists match themselves with market trends and consumer preferences, perhaps leading to higher long-term success.

Seek Guidance and Mentorship

Connect with successful women entrepreneurs and seek their guidance. These people have been there and done that. As such, they can assist you in avoiding the typical traps and overcoming problems. Mentors have broad networks developed over time. So, connecting with them can give you access to their professional network. This could open the door to possible investment or collaboration.

You could also join a mentee-mentor organization. These organizations provide structured mentorship to people by pairing people with mentors through group mentorship programs. Moreover, group mentorship creates a supportive community of other women entrepreneurs growing together.

Be Persistent and Resilient

You need to be consistent and resilient. Seeking VC financing is difficult, even without the gender inequalities. So, have a clear understanding of the environment. So, you should expect a lot of rejections. Each rejection is a chance to learn and iterate. Use feedback to improve your pitch deck, address concerns, and strengthen your value proposition. Recognize and celebrate milestones positive feedback, and progress made in developing investor relationships.