LOS ANGELES - 10/19/2018 (PRDistribution.com)
Funding Consortium presents a solution to decades-old gender funding gap problem through mission-driven investing. The October 11-13 World Woman Summit, held at the Clinton Presidential Center, brought together diverse voices and insights of luminaries from the worlds of business, entertainment, science and technology for one purpose: to accelerate women’s leadership through Gender Harmony—a global movement that empowers women in a bold, new way to support the Sustainable Development Goals 2030, set by the United Nations General Assembly. This year’s summit was the launchpad for The Billion Dollar Fund for Women (TBDF), a global consortium of blended finance partners committed to accelerate access to funding and resources for women entrepreneurs. TBDF’s goal is to mobilize $1 Billion in funding for companies founded by women entrepreneurs over the next 10 years, globally.
Entrepreneur and The Billion Dollar Fund for Women founding team member Anu Jain’s announcement of the consortium launch outlined the initial stretch goal: to raise $100 Million in pledges by 2020. That goal was met—and exceeded—with $460 Million pledged to close the funding gap. According to the Fund’s website, this gap closure “requires a concerted effort to remove the biases we are bringing to the table, catch our pattern matching, and ultimately take a hard stance to change the outdated practices and policies that continue to fuel an unfair funding environment.” TBDF aims to inspire larger investors to recognize this investment as an opportunity to diversify their portfolios to support important issues in the areas of gender, environment, social entrepreneurship and governance.
In the United States alone, all-women founding startup teams received just $1.9 Billion of the total $85 Billion venture capital investments in 2017. That’s less than 2 percent. Moreover, venture funds that do invest in women-founded, women-led companies often struggle to increase their capital base and increase their capacity to invest. Under the direction of managing partners Shelly Porges and Sarah Chen, and fellow co-founders Anousheh Ansari, Nadereh Chamlou and Anu Jain, The Billion Dollar Fund for Women presents a solution to the decades-old gender funding gap problem through mission-driven investing.
To date, the consortium has secured pledges from global investing partners including Different, Gobi Partners, Golden Gate Ventures, Rethink Impact, Springboard Growth Capital, and Backstage Capital, among others.
“There is so much untapped potential out there. We want to help bridge the funding gap so women can have equal opportunity to innovate and build businesses of the future”, said Anu Jain.
On behalf of Rethink Impact, a U.S.-based venture capital fund focusing on social impact investments, Jenny Abramson, Founder & Managing Partner, says, “Investing in women not only helps us achieve gender parity, but is good business and good for the economy”.
“World Woman Foundation is honored to have Anu Jain, a champion of women, at the Summit this year,” said CEO Rupa Dash. “The launch of the Billion Dollar Fund for Women is a bold new way to accelerate women's leadership in the global economy by making investing in women a top priority.”
ABOUT WORLD WOMAN FOUNDATION:
World Woman Foundation is a nonprofit organization that connects people across continents and cultures to discover and celebrate the advancement of resources for women. Founded in 2013 and headquartered in Los Angeles, the Foundation focuses on business, technology, social entrepreneurship and entertainment opportunities that promote gender harmony. The Foundation is currently implementing a mentorship program that will benefit 1 million women and girls worldwide by 2030. For more information, please visit www.worldwomanfoundation.com
ABOUT WORLD WOMAN SUMMIT:
The World Woman Summit takes place annually at the Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock, Arkansas. The two-day event convenes voices, ideas and insights of a range of luminaries from the worlds of business, entertainment, science and technology to accelerate women’s leadership through the global movement of Gender Harmony. The 2018 Summit endeavored to accelerate women’s leadership in a bold new way to support the Sustainable Development Goals 2030 through wide-ranging programming designed to inspire action and fuel creative fires along the core pillars of: Entrepreneurship, Technology, Finance, Health, Education, Food and Sustainability.
Learn more about partnering with The Billion Dollar Fund here: https://thebilliondollarfund.org/partner-with-us/.
The Billion Dollar Fund ("TBDF") is a global consortium of venture funds pledged to increase their investment in women-founded companies. Kicking off with a global offline and online campaign, TBDF seeks to change the paradigm and catalyze a larger game of funding women who are leading the pack in entrepreneurship. More information: http://thebilliondollarfund.org
ABOUT RETHINK IMPACT
Rethink Impact is a venture capital fund that invests in social impact companies with the potential to deliver market-rate financial returns for investors alongside transformational social and environmental change. There are two main lenses for Rethink Impact’s investments: gender diverse management teams and technology enabled businesses. The fund is focused on the health, education, sustainability, and economic empowerment sectors. The leadership team and Investment Committee have experience operating and investing in impact companies.More information: http://rethinkimpact.com