The Diana International Impact Report, released by Babson’s Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership, shows that even as entrepreneurial women have become a significant force in the U.S. economy — with equal or majority ownership in 45% of all U.S. firms — most have difficulty raising growth capital. Further, less than 15% of all VC-funded businesses have a woman on the team, and less than 3% of all VC-funded companies have a woman CEO.
The Diana Report, sponsored by the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership (CWEL) at Babson College, advocates identifying disruptive funding models and best practices for women entrepreneurs across each of the six primary processes that drive entrepreneurial development. They are as follows:
- Connecting and sustaining
- Enabling public policy
“Business schools need to continue to teach that being successful these days means building an organization that is thinking about the future — a future that is inclusive of women and minorities,” Sangster tells Poets&Quants. “This includes case studies, which is an area in need of improvement.”
The Diana Report, developed during the June 2019 Diana International Impact Day event hosted by Babson College, calls for refinement of the pipeline processes that already exist and the creation of new models for funding for women entrepreneurs that differ from conventional VC models. Among its proposed solutions:
- Train women investors as a way to open the funding tap to allow a new flow of capital into women-owned and -led businesses and a growing number of companies.
- Launch more accelerators focused on women founders to provide opportunities for female entrepreneurs to access resources (such as wegg®), including their networks.
- Venture capital firms need to hire more female decision-making investors, and new funds must grow a more inclusive focus on both the supply and demand side, so that more women provide the funds and more women receive them.
- Greater effort is needed from advocacy organizations, including the National Women’s Business Council, to catalyze new ideas, encourage change, and provide policy support to address diversity, start-up, growth, and funding of high-growth women entrepreneurs.
- It is important to celebrate, advocate, and provide visibility for accomplished women entrepreneurs, funding successes, and outstanding performance (much of what we do here at wegg®).