1. Develop an actionable plan:
2. Avoid giving up too much of your company to investors who don’t share your values.
3. Have funds to pay yourself, your employees and your suppliers, what you are worth.
4. Increase your impact, become a leader in your industry, and a role model for others.
5. Become a business owner, and reap the rewards of your hard work in the future.
Developed for Women by Women
Before you discount me (like most people discount women):
Module I - The Core Competencies
Seeking funds is a very stressful process, and the perception that women have more difficulty accessing capital needs to be addressed. We begin the program establishing a solid foundation of confidence and competence, so the process is more enjoyable and does not disempower women.
Lesson 1: Set the Intention and Confidence to get FUNDED
Raising funds is always difficult. Women are less trained to receive blunt feedback and use it to improve their request. In this lesson, you will learn how to create a strong inner locus of control to navigate through the difficulties of fund raising, have an elegant way out, and take rejection as suggestions for improvement, so the process is enjoyable and self-nurturing.
Lesson 2: Understand your funding NEEDS
Defining funding needs is challenging. Women tend to request less funds than they need damaging their chances of success, and lowering the valuation of their firms. In this lesson, you will learn how to translate operational and investment needs for cash into needs for resources, so you can balance your strategic model according to your specific needs and the constrains of each specific funding source, so you become more fundable.
Module II - Unconventional Funding.
This type of funding is called ‘bootstrapping’ in academic research. It makes funding needs disappear, and is fairly common in startups. Unfunding can lead to a lower ‘book’ value of the equity, so it needs to be used wisely.
Lesson 3: Unfunding, making funding needs disappear.
Shifting the needs for cash to the need for resources opens new ways of getting things done. Women are usually skilled at this through their roles, yet fail to capture the value created. In this session, you will learn how to use creativity to reduce your funding needs whilst increasing your company’s value, AND your equity.
Lesson 4: Leveraging the Power of Crowds.
Tapping in the strength of a large network with limited resources provides new avenues of funding for weak ties. Women are less prone to ask and receive funding this way because they tap on their strong ties. In this session, you will learn how to create a valuable proposition, vet your supporters for funding, and create a milestone plan and take advantage of customer’s feedback and new regulations.
Module III - Emotional Funding.
This type of funding expects rewards but does not require a collateral and is more flexible than debt funding. These funders will share some of the risk and rewards of the company.
Lesson 5: Founders, Family, and Friends. Women fund around 55.5% of their needs vs General population – 63%.
The first funders of any organization are Founders, Family and Friends, they take the initial risk of understanding what need of the market the organization solves. Women usually have less resources (cash, experience, network) to ramp up the steep learning curve. In this session, you will learn how to create a milestone-based plan to de-risk your company, leverage on other’s resources, avoid emotional battles, and nurture healthy social/commercial human relationships.
Lesson 6: Small Short-term (Angels) or Long-term (Partners) Investors.
Other sources of early funding include weak ties that are used to funding new or young ventures, these are either Angel Investors or Equity Partners. In both cases, they invest their own money. Angel Investors seek to have a temporary ownership of the equity and evaluate their return in the increased value of their equity. Equity Partners have a long-term horizon and evaluate their return in dividends. The differences in these types of investors impact the strategy of the firm, and viceversa. In this session, you will learn how to decide which type of investor meets your vision, and how to find, evaluate and close deals –or not- with them.
Lesson 7: The Venture or Vulture Capitalists.
The most professional and fast-tracking type of equity investment, Venture Capital has a dual good/bad reputation. Only 1% of companies receive any form of Venture Capital, so this type of funding is not recorded in evaluations of funding. 15% of companies that received VC funding have a woman on the executive team, and 2.7% have a woman as CEO. In this session, you will learn how to create a strategy that fits with a VC criteria, how to select VC firm, and what to expect in the process.
Module IV - Leveraged Funding.
Lesson 8: Debt.
Leveraged funding involves backing up funds with some form of collateral or insurance. Women fund around 22% through debt vs 25% for the general population. Debt has very strict and specific criteria that involves a careful combination of collateral, cash flow, and risks. In this session, you will learn how to balance these three conditioners of debt, find local allies, and use the various forms of debt to grow your firm.
Module V. The Final Details
Funding is fundamentally a human process. Despite knowing the different types of funding, and having the confidence to seek funding, the process itself involves a series of iterations. The “pink” effect seems to validate the difficulties that women face with regards to funding: the income gap (women are seen as less valuable than men), the purchase gap (women are charged more than men for services and products), and the feedback gap (women receive less valuable feedback than men). Yet, women and men are actively seeking ways to reduce this gap.
Lesson 9: Valuation and Negotiation with Ease. Focusing on data, you will learn how to validate your points and highlight the strengths of your deal, diminish risks, and facilitate the negotiation process. You will also learn how to receive feedback and use the tips from lesson 1 to keep you focused, clear, and energized through your funding process. A particularly important aspect of this session is how to managing rejection and disparate suggestions.
Lesson 10: Crafting a Funding Strategy. The funding process is dynamic and heavily influenced by the ecosystem. Developing a funding strategy helps you avoid traps, select and close on the best funding options for your current situation and align the different elements of the funding process. By doing this you maximize your learning and increase your funding options.