Women-owned startups are at a disadvantage for receiving investments and support. In fact, Florida-based companies raise less than 2% of the nation’s venture capital, with women-owned companies being much less than that, and women of color businesses being even less than that. The In Awe Event, co-hosted by USF’s Women in Leadership & Philanthropy (“WLP”), Tampa Bay Wave (“Wave”), Embarc Collective (“Embarc”), Tampa Bay Business & Wealth Magazine (“TBBW”), and Synapse on October 22nd, showcased the importance of not only supporting women-owned businesses, but encouraging women to invest, and gain the support of investors for their companies.
There are too few women who ultimately jump into a start-up business. Women often have a difficult time raising startup capital, getting interest from investors, and overall feel that it is too risky for them. However, the In Awe Event’s goal was to support “Investing, Nurturing, and Accelerating Women Entrepreneurs”, which can be done as awareness is spread. There is an important connection to Florida schools, and creating a better ecosystem of women entrepreneurs starts at the college-level. Schools such as University of South Florida (USF) are important economic drivers, particularly in Tampa. It is important for the community to help support women entrepreneurs by creating a landscape that encourages graduates to stay in Tampa post-graduation to kick-start their businesses.
Equally, it is important for women to feel comfortable being in the investing position, and start investing in other companies as well. However, when doing this, in order to mitigate risk, it is important to diversify your investments. Rather than invest in only one start-up and potentially seeing a loss, it would be better to invest in multiple start-ups, with the idea that some may not succeed or give you a return on investment, while others may thrive and will. Investing is all about balance, and it is important to encourage women to take on the role as not only a business-owner, but also an investor.
Creating change is all about awareness. Women-owned startups need a greater recognition, and there are multiple ways to get involved: you can be an investor, help develop the product, or be one of the customers who purchases the product. No matter what level of assistance you give to a women-owned business, it will help create recognition and gain support in the community. Before purchasing from a larger chain-store, consider doing some research and purchasing from a local, women-owned business. For more information on how to get involved with start-ups in the Tampa Bay community, visit: https://www.tampabaywave.org/.
Categorized in: Work
This post was written by Elevate, Inc.