Diana International Impact Day: Unlocking the Potential of Women Entrepreneurs

August 06, 2019
On June 5, 2019, Babson College’s Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership convened more than 250 investors, accelerators, policymakers, researchers, founders and other disrupters dedicated to changing the landscape of financing women entrepreneurs. We report on some key takeaways from the day.

According to “The Diana Report – Women Entrepreneurs 2014: Bridging the Gender Gap in Venture Capital,” only 2.7% of all venture capital-funded companies have a woman CEO, and 15% of all venture capital-funded companies have one woman on the executive team. Following its release, the report, which highlighted the challenges that women face acquiring capital, garnered global media coverage, interest from policymakers and over 1 billion views.

On June 5, 2019, Babson College’s Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership convened more than 250 investors, accelerators, policymakers, researchers, founders and other disrupters dedicated to changing the landscape of financing women entrepreneurs.

The Diana ProjectTM is an international community of scholars dedicated to uncovering the data that will ultimately allow women entrepeneurs to experience venture creation and growth, impacting economies and societies on a global scale.

By day's end, Diana Impact Day stakeholders committed to do their part in ensuring that women entrepreneurs are empowered to grow scalable businesses. From disseminating content and dismantling bias to writing checks and celebrating alternative sources of funding, participants left the room ready to take action.



Susan Duffy, Executive Director of Babson's Center for Women's Entrepreneurial Leadership and Co-Founder of Impact Day

Here is what people were talking about:

The Pipeline Issue

Today, only a fraction of venture capital funding goes to women-led companies and people of color. What is contributing to this funding gap? The driver of the issue may stem from the supply side of capital, where there is a lack of investor diversification. If the goal is to get more funding to women and people of color, then women and people of color need to be on the investor side funding entrepreneurs.

Barriers to Entry

Why don’t we see more women and people of color on the investor side? Some barriers that prevent them from investing include:

  • Lack of Awareness: Many women are not familiar with angel investing. They don’t know other angels, and they don’t see deal flow.
  • Need for Education: Angel investing is risky, and many investors must overcome the fear of making a big investment into something new that has a high risk of failing. Resources and tools that will help investors learn about angel investing are needed.
  • Access to Investments: Many angel funds have high minimums and charge high fees, inhibiting individuals from getting into early-stage investing.

Rethinking the VC Model

The objective of many venture capital firms is to find unicorns. Instead of hunting unicorns, investors may want to look for zebras – high-growth companies that will make a return and help the ecosystem. Many entrepreneurs do not want to scale their business just to have to sell it. There is an opportunity for the industry to design funds and capital structures (for example, flex equity and royalty financing) that work for entrepreneurs while offering investors solid returns.

Tips for Pitching Success

  • Lead Like You Know the Game: Be confident that you have a great idea that should be funded.
  • Get Beyond “No” to “Yes”: You will get 99 “nos” before you get a “yes.” Keep going. Raising money is difficult.
  • Lead with Your Story: Focus on pitching your story and sharing your vision for your company’s future. Be dramatic.

Lasting Change

The industry will change when we have more examples of successful women-owned companies that catch the interest of venture capitalists. When investors see that they are missing opportunities by not investing in women, they will realize that they must change their networks to find and get in front of new entrepreneurs.

Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. (“BBH”) may be used as a generic term to reference the company as a whole and/or its various subsidiaries generally. This material and any products or services may be issued or provided in multiple jurisdictions by duly authorized and regulated subsidiaries. This material is for general information and reference purposes only and does not constitute legal, tax or investment advice and is not intended as an offer to sell, or a solicitation to buy securities, services or investment products. Any reference to tax matters is not intended to be used, and may not be used, for purposes of avoiding penalties under the U.S. Internal Revenue Code, or other applicable tax regimes, or for promotion, marketing or recommendation to third parties. All information has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy is not guaranteed, and reliance should not be placed on the information presented. This material may not be reproduced, copied or transmitted, or any of the content disclosed to third parties, without the permission of BBH. All trademarks and service marks included are the property of BBH or their respective owners. © Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. 2021. All rights reserved. PB-04528-2021-04-23

This browser is not fully supported by our public website and may not display or function as expected for this reason. Please note, the Infuse Portal and BBH client applications fully support the IE 11 browser.

Important Information for Non-U.S. Residents

You are required to read the following important information, which, in conjunction with the Terms and Conditions, governs your use of this website. Your use of this website and its contents constitute your acceptance of this information and those Terms and Conditions. If you do not agree with this information and the Terms and Conditions, you should immediately cease use of this website. The contents of this website have not been prepared for the benefit of investors outside of the United States. This website is not intended as a solicitation of the purchase or sale of any security or other financial instrument or any investment management services for any investor who resides in a jurisdiction other than the United States1. As a general matter, Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. and its subsidiaries (“BBH”) is not licensed or registered to solicit prospective investors and offer investment advisory services in jurisdictions outside of the United States. The information on this website is not intended to be distributed to, directed at or used by any person or entity in any jurisdiction or country where such distribution or use would be contrary to law or regulation. Persons in respect of whom such prohibitions apply must not access the website.  Under certain circumstances, BBH may provide services to investors located outside of the United States in accordance with applicable law. The conditions under which such services may be provided will be analyzed on a case-by-case basis by BBH. BBH will only accept investors from such jurisdictions or countries where it has made a determination that such an arrangement or relationship is permissible under the laws of that jurisdiction or country. The existence of this website is not intended to be a substitute for the type of analysis described above and is not intended as a solicitation of or recommendation to any prospective investor, including those located outside of the United States. Certain BBH products or services may not be available in certain jurisdictions. By choosing to access this website from any location other than the United States, you accept full responsibility for compliance with all local laws. The website contains content that has been obtained from sources that BBH believes to be reliable as of the date presented; however, BBH cannot guarantee the accuracy of such content, assure its completeness, or warrant that such information will not be changed. The content contained herein is current as of the date of issuance and is subject to change without notice. The website’s content does not constitute investment advice and should not be used as the basis for any investment decision. There is no guarantee that any investment objectives, expectations, targets described in this website or the  performance or profitability of any investment will be achieved. You understand that investing in securities and other financial instruments involves risks that may affect the value of the securities and may result in losses, including the potential loss of the principal invested, and you assume and are able to bear all such risks.  In no event shall BBH or any other affiliated party be liable for any direct, incidental, special, consequential, indirect, lost profits, loss of business or data, or punitive damages arising out of your use of this website. By clicking accept, you confirm that you accept  to the above Important Information along with Terms and Conditions.

 
1BBH sponsors UCITS Funds registered in Luxembourg, in certain jurisdictions. For information on those funds, please see bbhluxembourgfunds.com


captcha image

Type in the word seen on the picture

I am a current investor in another jurisdiction