There’s a problem in the business world that few know about. Not enough startup funding is reaching female entrepreneurs which is why a new program has begun with the mission of creating more female angel investors.
Although just as many females are starting businesses as males, only 11% actually receive startup funding from angel investors. According to the Center for Venture Research at the University of New Hampshire, women don’t seek out capital at a high rate and when they do, they are often looking for women investors. The problem is that female angel investors don’t exist in large numbers which makes them hard to find and the amount of money they have available much smaller.
Natalia Oberti Noguera, a 27-year-old Yale University graduate wants to change that. Natalia is the founder of the Pipleline Fund, a New York based venture capital firm who invests in socially responsible business models. She started the Pipleline Fellowship Fund which aims to increase the amount of female angel investors and steer even more money towards socially responsible businesses.
The Pipleine Fund is a boot camp, of sorts, for aspiring angel investors. Natalia has been taking applications from aspiring female angel investors since November for a program that will begin in January of 2011. The 10 trainees she selects will pay $1,000 to be part of the program plus another $5,000 of angel money. This money will be pooled to make an investment fund of $50,000. The women will pick one company in which to invest their combined $50,000. The group plans to hand out this money in the Spring of 2010.
Each woman will be paired with an experienced venture capitalist where they will learn the in-depth act of due diligence, valuation, governance, and the many other aspects of evaluating a company for possible investment. While many venture capital firms split the duties between the partners, this company puts all responsibilities on all members. Each person is trained so they can leave the program and go out in to the world and start a firm of their own.
Vanessa Wilson runs a program similar to the Pipeline Fellowship Fund called the Golden Seeds Academy. This program has grown so large that they lend $4 million annually to women investors. If Golden Seeds is any indication of the upside potential of the Pipleline Fellowship Fund, it won’t take long for this new program to be a major player in the world of venture capital.
The problem may be that there simply aren’t enough programs like these but as ideas like this catch on and become more well known, they are sure to generate more interest and create a new breed of female angel investors.