Council Post: 10 Lessons Learned From Building A Business In A Male-Dominated Space
Building a business and raising capital in a male-dominated industry can be daunting. But it can also be exciting.
Getty Tech and venture capital have progressed from their predominantly white, male roots. However, as we approach 2023, it is still a far cry for diversity in founders and companies receiving capital. TechCrunch revealed that only 1.3% of funding was given to Black founders in 2021. Bloomberg also reported that only 2% of VC dollars were distributed to women in 2021. Having to listen to horror stories about female founders being treated poorly, ignored and not taken seriously only increases the nerves. It can be difficult to build a business or raise capital in a male-dominated sector. It can be challenging, but it can be very rewarding. Here's a little background about why I'm talking on this. My cofounder and me have over 18 years combined experience as freelancers and marketing executives supporting tech companies. We founded our tech company in 2021 and raised funds to help us build the business of our dreams. We are now raising capital for the second time. We were confident when we decided to start a tech company. We had the experience, connections, and vision to make it happen. We met other founders who had raised capital to gain perspective and trade notes at the beginning of our journey. We quickly realized that the majority of these founders were male. These conversations were sometimes very helpful and enjoyable, but they also opened our eyes. It was difficult to see the glaring lack diversity in this space. While we met some incredible women who helped us along our journey, the majority of people we spoke to were men. It can be daunting and demoralizing to be a young woman working in a patriarchal field. We quickly realized that empathy and being a woman is a superpower so we lean into that. Humans always come first to me, no matter what. My co-founder and I are committed to building in a humane way. I want to help other women entrepreneurs and business leaders. Let me share my top takeaways from raising money as a woman. Clarify your vision and the reason you are raising funds. It is essential that your story be clear and concise. You also need to make it big. Find people who are passionate about supporting and enabling underrepresented founders. You must be willing to show your vulnerability and promote yourself. Do not be timid. This is the time to show off your strengths. Use your connections to find people who believe in and support you. Talk to everyone. Keep track of your fundraising project management. There are many moving parts that must be managed. Before you raise capital, get some press coverage or soft launch your brand. Do not be afraid to follow up. You can send the fourth, fifth, and seventh emails. Even though people are busy, they might still be interested. Create a fear of missing out (FOMO) by creating a sense of urgency. So that you and potential investors know when your raise is due, set a deadline. It's possible that you are still writing the beginning of your founder story. I know this because I am. These lessons have been invaluable to me and I want to help other women succeed. Forbes Business Council is the leading organization for growth and networking for business leaders and owners. Do I qualify?