Several years ago, Edith Dorsen and her Harvard Business School classmate Monica Dodi came across a shocking statistic – less than 5% of venture capital went to leadership teams that included any women.
Galvanized by the data, the classmates organized a roundtable at their Harvard Business School Reunion to discuss this limited access to capital. Despite pouring rain in Cambridge that morning and late night section parties, by 8:30am, all 15 of the invitees showed up along with another 15 uninvited yet enthusiastic women!
Less than 5% of venture capital went to leadership teams that included any women.
During a spirited discussion, the group kept returning to a pivotal question: Was there a sufficient pipeline of venture-worthy women entrepreneurs to merit a venture fund 100% committed to female entrepreneurs? After extensive research, the answer was a resounding YES.
Backed by Harvard Business School classmates (men and women) and two prominent institutional investors, the founders closed the Women’s Venture Capital Fund in late 2013 to invest in venture-worthy women entrepreneurs seeking Series A and B financings at revenue-generating, capital-efficient companies. Management teams were required to include both women and men. What we deem a more risk-intelligent approach to venture capital.
Simply put, gender diversity is critical to entrepreneurial success.
WomensVCFund II, launched in late 2017, builds upon that initial pioneering success and is poised to capitalize on the inflection point of high-quality, female-led startups.
Scores of studies now show that firms with women in senior management outperform on nearly every metric. Simply put, gender diversity is critical to entrepreneurial success.