I’ve known Kay Koplovitz, chair, and Amy Millman, president, of Springboard Enterprises nearly since the organization started in 2000. While I’ve seen them morph their business model, they have always stayed true to their original vision, which is to accelerate women entrepreneurs’ access to equity markets. When they launched, women-led companies received less than 2% of the billions of dollars invested by venture capitalists.
This isn’t a feminist issue; it’s an economic one. If women entrepreneurs were funded to the same degree as their male counterparts, 6 million jobs would be created in 5 years, according to Babson College.
By 2004, women-led companies received 4% of of venture funding in the U.S., growing to 13% through the first half of 2013, according toPitchBook. The percentage of women angel investors has grown from 5% in 2004 to 22% in 20012. The number of women-led companies receiving angel financing has increased eight-fold over that period, according to the Center for Venture Research. More than 18% of angel-backed companies were led by a woman.