The rise of female angel investors
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Photo Credit: Goodluz / Shutterstock

In honor of International Women’s Day on May 8th, we are turning our focus to women entrepreneurs and women in startups

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New reports from the frontier of the investment world are showing that angel investing is no longer an “old boys’ club.”

Business experts admit that women have many challenges they must face in the business world, including building careers around maternity and child care, competing for equal pay, and wrestling with perceptions of themselves as the “weaker sex.” However, women also have advantages in today’s job world, in a world dominated by information and education roles, a world where creativity and vision is prized over raw muscle, and where diversity is becoming a cornerstone, not a concession.

Now these trends are being applied to the world of angel investing, where wealthy individuals or groups dole out money to startups and small businesses. A Bloomberg business story from 2014 estimates that women represent 20% of angel investors, and that the same percentage of angel companies are women-led. The 20% estimate may sound like a low number, but it’s much higher than women’s share of some professional IT roles, especially in areas like programming and other code based work.

It’s also a manifestation of a greater trend, where female CEOs and other women are getting access to more power in the workplace. All over the investment world, firms like Forerunner, Belle Capital, Golden Seeds and Springboard are giving the female voice more prominence in the realm of relationships between venture capitalists and investors and the enterprises that compete for their money.

Female Vision in Angel Investing Groups

One way that more women are getting involved in angel investing is through dedicated women-led and women-centered investment groups.

37 Angels, a group that does lots of investing in the $50,000 to $150,000 range, is committed to raising the percentage of women in angel investment.

“When we started, 13% of angel investors were women,” reads the About Us page of the 37 Angels website. “We want that number to be 50%…37 Angels activates the untapped capital and experience women can bring to investing in male and female-led ventures.”

This group also offers training resources and more to help women get a bigger foothold in the angel world. Groups like this are popping up all over the globe, giving more women actual involvement in holding the purse strings for important business developments across many different industries.

Results of Female Angel Investing

As women rise to prominence in the investing world, business analysts are also finding out more about the effects this will have on venture capital and how it’s used. A resource in Entrepreneurship.org cites a study from the UNH Center for Venture Research and Oregon State University that exploded some myths about women’s role in angel investing, including the common idea that women will be more conservative with capital.

The study found that despite previous research showing more cautious behavior by women investors, in some cases, adding women to a venture capital board would increase investment activity. This is just one example of how actual analysis of women’s emerging roles provides business intelligence for the future.

Changing Attitudes, Changing Cultures

Many women also enter more aggressive areas of the business world with specific goals about changing a hidebound culture that tends to undermine families, overlook domestic work, and generally favor male participation.

Although women still struggle to attain equal pay, workers of both genders are making huge inroads in the family support concessions offered by employers, both large and small.

In recent years, governments and officials have started to look at various ways to support, not discourage, two-parent working families, starting with mandatory breast pumping facilities in the workplace, and extending to things like greater daycare tax credits, better flextime or telework arrangements, and more concessions for family medical leave.

All of these are important aftereffects of the rise of women, not just the rank-and-file of the work world, but also to prominence in the board rooms of blue-chip companies, investing groups and startups alike.

This post was originally published on Fiverr‘s blog. 

Featured Image Credit: Goodluz / Shutterstock

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