In my 9 months living in LA, I've been blown away by the collective energy among women coming together to genuinely help one another socially and economically. I've seen this come in the form of women's networking groups like Tuesday Nights and We Are Enough, as well as online communities forming dedicated to gender lens impact investing like Women Effect.
One group in particular that I've gotten involved with here in Los Angeles is called SheEO. Beyond just being a catchy title, it is one of the only programs I've come across that is actively turning the world of funding for female entrepreneurs on its head. SheEO does this through a concept called #radicalgenerosity.
The idea is simple. Get 1,000 women each to commit $1,000, creating a pool of $1,000,000 for 10 selected female entrepreneurs to scale and grow their business. The model not only increases the number of women investing in other women, but also opens new channels of funding for female entrepreneurs.
SheEO will launch city by city across the world, with the goal of reaching 1,000 cities by 2020. That equals $1 billion in funding for 10,000 women-led ventures!
I attended SheEO's event LA launch event today, and was moved to hear the Founder, Vicki Saunders, ask why in 2016 we even need an organization like SheEO. Unfortunately, the numbers don't lie. Even though women worldwide are starting business at 1.5x the pace of men, we are only getting roughly 4% of the venture capital.
This isn't just a gender equality issue, it is an economic imperative. 6 million new jobs would be created if female entrepreneurs were funded to the same degree as men. Clearly, something is not working with our current model, and it's time we changed that.
To learn more about SheEO and sign up, visit https://www.sheeo.world/become-an-activator/
I am in. Are you?