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How 8 Women Investors Are Fixing the Shocking Lack of Funding For Women-Led Startups

They're writing checks, and making room for more women to do the same.

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This story appears in the October 2021 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

“VC firms need to promote women. As of February 2020, only 13 percent of decision-makers were female. Women investors are more likely to invest in female founders, and data shows that private tech companies with women-­led teams generate a 35 percent higher ROI than teams led by men. We should protect policies like California’s Senate Bill 826, which requires publicly held companies to have a certain number of women on their boards. Finally, let’s use our purchasing power to support women-founded brands. When their companies do well, they will be more attractive to VC firms.” — Nikki Eslami, Founder and CEO, New Theory Ventures, which invests in women-­led personal-care brands

“Be consumer-centric. At Imaginary, we want founders who put consumers first and reach them through content, community, and culture — and women are very good at this. Female founders challenge the status quo of brands built by men, whether it’s size inclusivity to address the 70 percent of U.S. female consumers who are plus size, rethinking retail, or challenging the notion that skin only comes in one color. Women are also great at building teams, being cash-flow nimble, and delivering higher ROI, which leads to another fix: Investors need to support them with a strong bench of executives, the way they would a male founder.” — Natalie Massenet, Cofounder, Imaginary Ventures, which invests in retail tech

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