Are entrepreneurs happy with women VCs?
Disclaimer: I am a woman investor myself. I will accept any result of this study and make efforts to improve my professional practices in any way I can if necessary.
Yesterday, in a closed Facebook group of women founders, we were discussing yet another study on the percentage of VC funded female led startups. During the discussion, several women entrepreneurs made a bold statement: they do not find female investors easy to deal with. In particular, it was said that:
- “getting to meet and pitch women VCs is harder”,
- “women VCs tend to act more aggressively than men VCs”,
- “women VCs do not provide useful feedback and comments”.
There was also a feedback that not many women VCs understand well enough the role of tech infrastructure in B2B space.
Please, note: these are all quotes of female entrepreneurs — no men involved.
I got curious and asked my research group to conduct a quick anonymous survey among women entrepreneurs we could reach out fast. We managed to survey 86 of them and were startled by the results!
63% of surveyed women entrepreneurs, who have pitched women investors as well as men investors, were not happy with their interaction with the former.
We need more respondees for this study to find out the truth: please, fill out a very short form and ask your friends to do the same — it is completely anonymous!
This is a topic the community hasn’t and wouldn’t want to bring up at all, since women investors is the main driver of gender diversity among entrepreneurs: it’s women VCs who advocate female entrepreneurs, it’s them who create venture funds focused on women led startups, and so on, and so forth. But since women entrepreneurs went vocal, it must be time to discuss the uncomfortable. Here are some points to discuss, prove right or wrong.
#1 First thing we don’t like talking about is that women are known to be more risk averse in investments. So when we meet first-time women entrepreneurs, they seem twice as risky to us as any other possible investments.
#2 Second, several studies have shown that women VCs willingly invest in men led startups, and since the majority of startups are founded by men, it’s no surprise, that there is a large number of such in women’s VCs portfolios.
#3 And last, but not least, no matter how strongly women VCs advocate for women entrepreneurs, they still have a fiduciary duty to invest in sustainable and scalable business disregarding the gender of its founders. See #2.
Even though these are all legit points to take into consideration before expressing dissatisfaction with women investors, I wouldn’t want entrepreneurs of any gender to be disappointed by their interactions with us. No matter how much such a dissatisfaction can be applied to you, my dear fellow Ladies investors, it is a feedback from our customers — people we serve — entrepreneurs, and we should not only listen, but hear it, analyze, accept if applicable and change for the better.
Many thank to all entrepreneurs who will fill out our survey and help us to understand how well we are doing with you! 🙂
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