A huge investment gap is crushing female-run startups. Venture capitalists — investors with a lot of money who use it to fund startups — are investing way less in women-led startups than those led by men. Fortune reported in March that women-led companies made up just 4.9% of the startups that received investments from venture capitalists.
Angry yet? It's about to get worse. This week the Harvard Business Review recorded venture capitalists' conversations about pitches from both women- and men-led companies. The results were bleak. The average male entrepreneur was characterized by VCs as "young and promising" according to the research, while women entrepreneurs were seen as "young, but inexperienced."
This gets worse when you juxtapose it against some of the most successful venture capital-funded startups run by women, like beauty brand Glossier and workout gear maker Outdoor Voices. Just this week, at TechCrunch's Disrupt Conference, founders Emily Weiss and Tyler Haney discussed their success as venture capital-funded apparel and beauty brands.
As Weiss said: "Beauty is not traditionally a VC kind of business. But it’s a quarter-of-a-trillion-dollar market globally, and ripe for disruption. The data speaks for itself.”
- Alicia McElhaney / She Spends Issue #3