Inc., a magazine that publishes content for business owners, recently launched a new tool to help budding women entrepreneurs find investors. Aptly named The Fundery, the online database lists venture capital funds that are specifically geared toward women in business.
The Fundery lets you search for investors based on funding stages, specific industries, and geographical areas to ease the process of finding a fund right for you. As stated on Inc.’s website, the Fundery “includes venture capital funds that take equity stakes in women entrepreneurs or women-led companies as the execution of all or part of their investment theses.”
[Related: Here are more business funding resources]
Of course, the Fundery seeks to combat a globally known gender disparity in business: women CEOs only get about 2.3 percent of all venture capital, and women CEOs of color get even less.
Inc. editor-at-large Kimberly Weisul is well aware. She says, “At Inc., we want to change that equation.”
What is surprising about those dismal numbers is that most investors believe that the funding landscape is balanced. According to a recent report by Morgan Stanley, the majority of investors believe women entrepreneurs (and entrepreneurs of color) are already well-funded enough. This causes “the trillion dollar blind spot,” with investors not making enough effort to review pitches from women and minority business owners, and favoring traditional male-owned startups that are more familiar to them.
Elaine Kundo, the founder of Toronto-based Disruption Ventures, which is in the Fundery database, refers to the limited partners who provide the money that venture capitalists invest: “Some of the larger L.P.’s are starting to say we can’t walk into a room and have only dudes at the table. Adding token women won’t solve that.”
Kundo and many others see a potentially lucrative market in backing future women entrepreneurs. The approximately 57 funds currently listed in the Fundery collectively represent more than $1.5 billion — most of these are first-time funds, and nearly all are helmed by a female founding partner. (One exception is Harlem Capital, founded by four black men, which invests in women and entrepreneurs of color.)
Though the investors in the Fundery are typically smaller than those in the venture capital “old guard,” the hope is that supporting women entrepreneurs will create longer-lasting impacts and add a diverse perspective to the innovation process.
[Related: Listen to our podcast about women in tech]