Will You Bring Your Money?

It was early spring when I drove to Kalamazoo to meet with my first investor contact. Intoxicated by the beauty of orchards in bloom I missed my exit and arrived late.

He was gracious as I told him women owned 48% of all businesses and were starting businesses at twice the rate of men, yet only received 4% of all private equity to start and grow those businesses. As a result, only 3% of women-owned businesses had annual revenues of a million dollars.

It was my strategy to look him in the eye from across his desk and ask him why he wasn’t investing in women-owned businesses. I wasn’t prepared for his answer.

He was as shocked as I about the 4% statistic.

He told me the problem wasn’t a conscious decision on his part to not invest in women- owned businesses; the problem was, women weren’t asking him for money. They weren’t even pitching him.

asked him, “If I vet and qualify women entrepreneurs to pitch you, will you come—and will you bring your money?” He answered

"Yes. Just make it about money—not about women.”