Working Women on Labor Day

I am taking this Monday off to write on the weekly Woman Entrepreneur of the week.  Figuring it is Labor Day and most of us are taking the day off so I am going to too.  Instead I am going to write about why we should support women entrepreneurs.

I have written about my career before.  The dots have connected as I have learned from each and every step I have taken particularly the steps where I have failed. My career has not been your classic slow move up the ladder.  As most women that I have talked to over the past few years, and the many of them that I have written about on this blog, have also found their sweet spot through moving forward because of opportunities that presented themselves.  The one thing that they all have in common is their entrepreneurial spirit.  Their desire to make their career, their life, their job, their challenge, their own. 

I have invested in women and I have invested in men but I do try to support women entrepreneurs first and foremost.  Why? 

Women entrepreneurs are incredible managers.

Women are the best at multi-tasking. It is important to have that asset as an entrepreneur.

Women listen. They want feedback and advice.

Women entrepreneurs have carrots dangling in front of their nose.  They understand the road is long and are willing evolve and pivot until they find their sweet spot.

Women tend to create businesses that fill voids in their lives.  Those voids create businesses that fill the needs of many. 

ImagesWomen are more attune to the important of community and family in their companies.  That is a win win for everyone.

Their aren't enough women entrepeneurs being funded.  Most of the investment dollars are being held by men who tend to invest in other men because it is just easier putting money into people who they feel more comfortable with.  We call it the boys club.  Perhaps it is but I honestly do not believe that it is conscious but more comfort. I want to change that. 

I investment in women because I believe in their ideas.  I get their ideas.  I have found that many of the ideas start out as companies that we see as being able to scale to a $50 million, some of course much larger.  Over time, many of these companies start to grow and as opportunities unfold we begin to see that these companies can and will become bigger than we originally thought. That is exciting and I want to support that.

Is there a void in the investment market for companies that will become $50-100 million dollar exits, absolutely.  Yet VC's do not want to invest in companies that will only be that big not that they do not have exits like that but they did not believe that would be the dollar amount it would only grow to. 

Perhaps because there are so many start-ups that are being funded by angels and super angels that over time more women will be funded.  The amount it takes to get a company up and running gets smaller each day.  I hope so because supporting women entrepreneurs is important for the next generation, particularly our daughters, who see that the opportunities to be your own person, to be a supported entrepreneur does not have to be a dream but it can be a reality. 

Comments (Archived):

  1. falicon

    I like your reasons a lot…the one I would add is that, in my experience, women are much better at winning from the underdog position.The reality is that every startup begins from the underdog position.Those with the experience, proper attitude, and ability to plan from the weaker position to the stronger one are the ones that have the best shot to do the best.I think women, mostly subconsciously & partially because of how society has historically treated women in the classroom, tend to spend most of their formative years and careers coming from the underdog position…in many ways, it’s a truth that sucks, but the one positive is that they have become very great at “just dealing with it” and “making it work one way or another”…even in today’s world, it’s easier for a guy to quit and it’s easier for a guy to fail.

    1. Gotham Gal

      well said. when women entrepreneurs fail it is highlighted. unfortunately it is what it is.

    2. Laura Yecies

      I love this idea and think there is a lot of truth to it

  2. John Best

    I think that if what you say about the reasons women come into business is right, that explains a lot.Identifying an issue and spinning a business out of it because it provides real value is a hell of a lot different than latching onto a new piece of tech, or identifying something “social” and making a play for a big valuation.

    1. Gotham Gal

      i think so too. the internet as a platform is key. technology helps launch better businesses but in general ( not as a rule ) women tend to not build not tech plays but businesses that incorporate technology into them.

      1. John Best

        Then they’re the better investment if you’re not looking for a quick turnaround.

  3. Claudia

    I’m sitting here in my pj’s QA’ing with my team for a launch that should’ve happened already when you’re post came to me in FB feed from Women 2.0 – the point about men investing in men because of familiarity – and not because of evilness 🙂 – shot through me like an arrow – familiarity dictates so much – like goes with like – birds of a feather flock together, and on and on. I also believe this is why it is my job to talk about what I do with other women (I’m a woman btw!) and girls so that they start to feel like a familiarity with this world – this is a really astute point you make and I appreciate hearing it from someone else – if we want women to be entrepreneurs we have to make it more familiar to them and to their sphere of influence – how many women know a woman who was a teacher, a secretary, a stay at home mom? LOTS. How many women know a woman who started a tech company? Let’s all do what that age old stereotype gives us so much credit for – TALK!!! Happy Labor Day ladies! Let’s “work” our way further and further into entrepreneurship!! heh 😀

    1. Gotham Gal

      nice one Claudia!

  4. JLM

    .Every slight we suffer is fuel for achievement if harnessed correctly.It is not necessary to characterize those slights, slings and arrows as being only gender based as life is so much more complex. In both its unfairness and opportunity.But they are real and they provide real fuel for real accomplishment — again, if harnessed correctly.Today I celebrate everyone — entrepreneurs and wage earners alike — who harnesses their own slights to fuel their desire and call action to WORK and thereby exact their own revenge on the world.Success and living well is the best revenge. Meet me on the high ground..

    1. Gotham Gal

      i will meet you there.

  5. William Mougayar

    That’s a great tribute to women entrepreneurship and a testament to your tenacity in helping more women realize their highest aspirations. I don’t know anyone who is more passionate than you are about this topic and putting words to action to make it happen.

    1. Gotham Gal

      i think there are others who are passionate. i wish they would all start to put their money in the game.

      1. William Mougayar

        I hear you. That would be a good thing if more of it happens.

  6. awaldstein

    Women entrepreneurs are really fortunate to have a resource like you.There must be others of course who are investing in that $30-100M, 3-5x investment return space. And others who feel like you do so to empower women entrepreneurs.I’m curious who they are and where the entrepreneurs you fund are turning for the remainder of their investments? I would think that just as you are gathering the entrepreneurs to you for investment and support, the other investors would be forming around this as well.It takes a village on both sides to really make change happen.

  7. Jennifer Stewart

    It’s so encouraging to see how things are beginning to turn around for women. I live in South Africa, and about 9 years ago I started a business. I applied to a well-known funding organisation and was told they would invest in my business. The consultant sexually harrassed me and when I complained to head office they steam-rollered me to shut me up. It was a nightmare. Of course they didn’t invest! I couldn’t find anybody to support me and ended up bankrupt. It was a terrible experience, but I was able to turn it into something triumphant for myself. Still, I’m so thrilled that women now have people like yourself to turn to.Re the boys club, I agree with you that it’s mostly comfort zone. The wonderful thing is that women don’t have to try and break it down any more, they can find back-up and support amongst their own gender! I don’t think we can change other people’s perceptions unless they want it to happen, but we can change the way we look for solution.

    1. Gotham Gal

      i agree, the solution must come from outside not within.