Why our strong partnership with The Riveter will bolster your business
Female-founded businesses account for only 2.2% of all venture funding. Even though women account for 47% of the labor force, when it comes to venture-capital funding to start businesses, men get 97.8% of the pie.
That’s a major problem with major ramifications.
One cause could be that only about 12% of decision-makers at VC firms are women, and according to an analysis from last year, most firms still don’t have a single female partner. Of all founding partners at these firms, only 2.4% are female.
We might not know all the reasons for this extreme gap, but we know it’s not right. It’s holding women back and hurting all of us, and here’s why.
There’s a strong business case for funding women-founded businesses.
Let’s look at the gender pay gap, a hot-button topic for nearly a decade. As companies evolve, it’s clear that equal pay brings a whole flock of benefits. It creates a fairer, more egalitarian work environment, and it helps families with their bottom line, which also helps communities flourish.
However, when it comes to investing in women-founded businesses, the conversation is just getting started. Of course, there’s a social incentive, but what’s frequently overlooked is the strong financial incentive. Investing in female founders helps everyone win. That’s not just a tagline—it’s the truth.
There are decades of research showing that when you give financial means to women leaders, it propagates incredible results, enriching whole communities. For comparison, women typically invest 90% of their money into their families, whereas men invest only 35%.
Women bring a unique perspective—a rather profitable perspective.
We build startups to solve problems. But, as people, we can only solve the problems that we encounter. Since women see the world through a different lens, they see different problems and, therefore, will have different solutions.
These different perspectives should not be underestimated. They should be celebrated. Since women tend to be the principal decision-makers on consumer spending, wouldn’t it make sense to invest more money in the products they want to bring to market?
When we invest in female founders, we gain more ideas, and in many cases, these ideas mature into solutions we may have previously overlooked. Let’s consider breast pumps. Even though millions upon millions of women use breast pumps to feed their babies every day, there wasn’t much innovation on them for nearly four decades.
Now, since women founders have entered that arena, breast pumps are finally starting to evolve. As a result, they’re becoming more comfortable and effective (and even quieter!).
This doesn’t only help the mothers. It helps the entire household: from the health of the babies, to the stress of the spouses, to the general harmony (and noise level) of their living space—not to mention the new jobs such innovation provides.
Another area to consider is menopause. By the year 2025, 1.1B women will be post-menopausal. Responding to the needs of women experiencing menopause is a business opportunity estimated at $600B. At P&G Ventures, we helped in the discovery and creation of the Kindra Brand, which focuses on the needs of women in menopause. This project has moved on to the Build phase and is now a joint venture between P&G and the venture firm M-13.
Kindra is a women-led company providing estrogen-free peri/menopause essentials designed by women for women. Their technology, devices, and community help to improve the multitude of symptoms and challenges of women experiencing menopause.
Kindra’s CEO, Catherine Balsam-Schwaber, explains, “I joined Kindra because I believe that all women deserve support when it comes to taking care of ourselves, and I know that true confidence comes with embracing change. When women lift up other women, we can face any challenge the world throws at us… even this one.”
Investing in more female-led companies makes sense—there are problems that half of the world doesn’t see in the same way. Imagine what would happen if women had better access to venture capital? This could mean more jobs, more solutions, and more problem-solving.
Meet our partner, The Riveter
On the topic of problem-solving, our partner The Riveter takes a close look at this lack of equality regarding business opportunities and helps ambitious women navigate and network in the business world.
Amy Nelson, founder and mother of four daughters, started The Riveter when she realized that the corporate business world looks differently to new moms than new dads. As a busy attorney, she wanted to create a different reality for women. The result? A company that eventually raised over $30 million to start making changes in the business space.
The Riveter is now a platform that shares stories, skills, and tools for working women to get ahead in their businesses and careers. It’s a media company, but it’s also an online community and co-working space that champions and examines the conversation about diversity, equality, and inclusion of women in the workforce.
The Riveter’s newsletter alone reaches hundreds of thousands. Their goal is to change the paradigm for everyone through information, tools, and community. Nelson makes sure that this conversation also involves men, as their perspectives are just as important. After all, no one wins through exclusion.
Here’s how P&G Ventures wants to serve women entrepreneurs
The Riveter knows that venture capital is one of the largest impediments for women when it comes to founding their startup. P&G Ventures wants to help close that funding gap.
As an extension of a Fortune 500 company, P&G Ventures knows that it has a role to play in the private sector. The lack of funding for women boils down to a network-based issue, and with our resources, we have the means to help.
Accessing financial resources proves more challenging for women.
Women have different hurdles when it comes to traveling and pitching their startup idea to VC firms. From a lack of resources, time, or support, networking for funds can look very different to women than it does to men.
P&G Ventures wants to use our power and help bridge this accessibility—using our platform to amplify women business owners and invest in them.
Through their partnership, P&G Ventures hopes to leverage The Riveter’s expertise to help women turn their innovative ideas into businesses. This partnership includes but is not limited to:
Events that feature female founders and leaders who share their stories—giving advice and learning from what they did right (and wrong) in their respective tech-driven fields.
Mentorships that foster authentic relationships and help encourage women throughout their entrepreneurial experience.
Showcasing current female-led startups, which gives the entire startup community (like-minded individuals and even investors) a chance to see the potential of their ideas.
What does this mean for startups?
P&G Ventures believes in the power of women in the entrepreneurial space. Through our partnership with The Riveter, we’re making a commitment and investment. We want to identify, mentor, and partner with promising female-led businesses in our key focus areas. Ultimately, our goal is to help create a startup ecosystem where women will have equal access to major capital.
Investing in great technology means looking at the problem from different angles. So, investing in women is critical for future growth. This fact goes beyond economics, too. By investing in women, we create a better world through businesses, services, and products that otherwise wouldn’t exist.
For more information about P&G Ventures
P&G Ventures is a startup studio within Procter & Gamble that partners with startups, entrepreneurs, and inventors to fund and accelerate billion-dollar ideas that improve consumers’ lives. Think you have the next big idea? We’d love to hear from you.