Want to support lady-run startups, and hopefully make some $$$ while doing so? Enter Female Funders, a new site that’s all about encouraging women to act as “angel investors”—someone who provides financial backing to fledgling ventures, a path taken by celebs like Tyra Banks, Gwyneth Paltrow and Ellen DeGeneres. But you don’t have to be a celeb to get involved.
Female Funders launched last month and is the brainchild of Toronto-based entrepreneurial whiz Katherine Hague. She sold her first company, an e-commerce platform called ShopLocket, at the age of 23 (#NBD). And she says it never would have never gotten off the ground without the aid of her own female angel—who put $10,000 into the startup during its early days. (In total, Hague raised a cool $1 million in funding for ShopLocket.)
Now, she wants to return the favour. Her goal? Encourage 1,000 angel investors to sign on by August 2016. “We provide a number of actionable ways that women can get started on the path to making their first investment,” explains Hague, 25, who’s now an angel herself. Female Funders doesn’t directly facilitate investment, but instead acts as an angel bootcamp of sorts—offering sources and first-hand advice from female angels, as well as highlighting worthwhile startups seeking investors.
The idea of investing may seem intimidating, but it shouldn’t be—nor does becoming an angel necessarily mean dropping insanely huge cash. While the standard investment runs anywhere from $10,000 to $50,000, Hague says you can become an investor with as little as $1,000—and even such a relatively small sum can pay huge dividends in terms of supporting female-run startups. “If we can encourage more women to invest,” Hague says, “we’ll help more women build their dreams and change the world.” Now that’s an investment we can get behind.
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