Investing in businesses and teams that promise huge innovations, but are still at the starting line, requires a deep belief that something small or nonexistent today could become a fixture of how we live tomorrow.
This optimism has led to some of the biggest advances in tech: having information at our fingertips (Google), exchanging ideas across continents (Twitter), learning languages for free (Duolingo), and enhancing connectivity to enable new forms of work (Zoom).
Now again, it is about time to harness this energy to tackle one of the most entrenched problems in tech: gender inequality.
In the US for example, the 2019 progress rates put out by World Economic Forum showed equality to be like 208 years away.
It appears that venture capital can help bend that curve because it is designed to reject linear growth and focus on an exponential scale.
However, speeding up change will require more women investors and more investment in female entrepreneurs by both men and women.
Therefore, bringing more women into the tech ecosystem can create a wave of innovation — one that will change the future and the role of women in it.
Based on some randomized 2019 statistics in the U.S., only 11% of VCs are women and 71% of VC firms have no female partners.
Also, in the previous year, a mere 12% of venture capital dollars went to companies with a woman on the founding team, a decline from 15% in 2017.
Currently, the numbers haven't seemed to change much when you look at female-founded startups that aren’t focused on female customers
They have gotten, perhaps, slightly more than the 2% of VC investment dollars since 2014.
In a sector creating and fueling how the world lives, works, and connects, women’s voices and perspectives need to be amplified.
A world that values women equally if women are a bigger part of it is what we need to build.
Things ought to take a dramatically different course such that more women investors and entrepreneurs, more funding for female-founded startups, and more women leaders in technology become the case.
Recently, the founder and CEO of Pivo, a digital banking outfit, Nkiru Amadi-Emina, was interviewed by Punchng regarding her funding experience within the fintech start-up sector.
On how she has been able to navigate the tough funding hurdle for women she admitted that the system is more favorable to the male counterparts but advises a change approach by female loan seekers to include looking out for only the investors that are intentional toward funding for women entrepreneurs.
On how local funding compares with the foreign aspect, she commenting some improvement from the local funders, she, however, admits the nascency of local funders as a factor for their inability to match up with the magnitude of support the foreign funders give.
As a beneficiary of the Google Black Founder Fund, she clarified that the rare approach of backing and deploring resources in support of diverse teams and minority founders makes all the difference.
She foresees a continuation of the current slowdown in funding for the next 18 to 20 months since big funders are being conservative owing to the crypto crash of last year, for example, amongst other factors.
On how the recent Startup Act will be implemented, she would rather adopt a wait-and-see stance.
Nkiru also believes in startups being open to exploring listing on the stock exchange. She further gave insights as to what Pivo represents.
According to her, Pivo is a digital bank that provides financial services to SME vendors operating within supply chains.
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