Female founders: Tips for infusing capital into your dreams

Courtesy of venturebeat.com

Today, women own four out of every 10 businesses in the U.S.

Why Women are Choosing Entrepreneurship

There are a variety of reasons that women are choosing to start their own businesses rather than climb the corporate ladder:

  1. To have more flexibility. Women entrepreneurs have dual responsibilities to their business and to their families and may prioritize flexibility over money.
  2. To charge what they’re worth. Women still get paid less than men, and research shows women won’t reach pay equity for 100 years.
  3. To advance more quickly. Although women are just as likely as men to want a promotion, women are 15% less likely to get promoted.

Bridging the Funding Gap

It’s no surprise that funding is a critical component of business success. Unfortunately, female founders have a more difficult time securing funding than their male counterparts. The first step in addressing this challenge is understanding what sources of funding might be available to you.

Brooke Lowery and Lisa Shelton
LISA SHELTON AND BROOKE LOWERY The Lowery Shelton Group Morgan Stanley Wealth Management

Bootstrapping

Bootstrapping is building a company from the ground up with nothing but personal savings, assets and the cash coming in from sales. Some bootstrappers also tap into personal insurance and investments, bank loans, credit cards or even retirement accounts to fund their startup.

Friends & Family

Financial contributions from friends, family and co-workers are common sources of startup funding; but this kind of arrangement is hardly a stress-free loan as mixing personal relationships and money can be challenging.

Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is the use of small amounts of capital from a large number of individuals to finance a new business venture. Crowdfunding leverages social media and crowdfunding websites such as Kickstarter and iFundWomen to connect entrepreneurs with potential investors.

Grants

Small-business grants from private foundations and government agencies are another way to raise startup funds for your small business. One advantage of this type of funding is that it doesn’t require you to give away a piece of your business.

Angel Investors

These are affluent individuals who provide capital in exchange for convertible debt or ownership equity, typically in the very early stages of a business.

Accelerators

These programs typically include seed investment, connections, mentorship and education in exchange for equity. Accelerators often culminate in a pitch event or demo day which connects founders with potential investors.

Venture Capitalists

These are investment firms or funds that provide capital to start-ups with high growth potential in exchange for equity.

Not all funding types are suitable for each founder or startup. Sometimes, the long-term costs are too high, the values don’t align or the relationships are too important to risk. You want to find the funding type that’s “just right” for your business and the vision you have for growing it. If you need help understanding and narrowing down your funding options, talking to a mentor or an experienced financial advisor can help you determine which avenues may be best for you.

Disclosures

Article by Morgan Stanley and provided courtesy of Morgan Stanley Financial Advisor.

Lisa Shelton is a Financial Advisor in Vancouver, Washington at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC (“Morgan Stanley”). She can be reached by email at Lisa.Shelton@morganstanley.com.

Brooke Lowery is first vice president, financial advisor and financial planning specialist at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC. She can be reached at Brooke.Lowery@morganstanley.com.

Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC is not implying an affiliation, sponsorship, endorsement with/of the third party or that any monitoring is being done by Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC (“Morgan Stanley”) of any information contained within the website. Morgan Stanley is not responsible for the information contained on the third party website or the use of or inability to use such site. Nor do we guarantee their accuracy or completeness.

Joanna Yorke is the managing editor of the Vancouver Business Journal. She has worked in the journalism field since 2010 after graduating from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University in Pullman. Yorke worked at The Reflector Newspaper in Battle Ground for six years and then worked at and helped start ClarkCountyToday.com.