Being the only woman in a room can be intimidating and daunting. This is the reality for many female business owners, but this shouldn’t be the case. The notion that women can be intimidated by men in business is built upon centuries of patriarchal dominance and contributes to why, to this day, women are five times less likely than men to scale their business through investment up to £1 million turnovers.
Sarah Bolt, Founder and CEO of Forth, draws on her own experience as a middle-aged female entrepreneur to share how to successfully raise investment for your business as a woman. Since she started her business in 2014, Sarah has been working to not only improve people’s health and wellbeing but also to create an equal business environment for all genders. On top of that, Sarah has also secured funding multiple times and will be doing so again, later this year. Here are Sarah’s top 5 tips for female entrepreneurs seeking investment.
Do your research
Above all else, an entrepreneur should know what they are talking about. It’s extremely important to know the business and industry inside out, with intelligent and thorough research to back up all relevant points. This will ensure the entrepreneur remains the expert and is completely in control during the investment pitching process.
Don’t succumb to imposter syndrome
It is easy for female entrepreneurs to feel as if they are not qualified or fit to lead a business. Commonly known as imposter syndrome, this feeling of inadequacy should be squashed as quickly as possible. A person’s inner saboteur can be fatal to growing a business and female entrepreneurs need to believe they are good enough. Even in the face of chauvinistic angel investors, women can be in control and maintain their integrity, without compromise.
Get a mentor
All female entrepreneurs should establish a mentor/mentee relationship with another, more experienced female business owner. This relationship is vital to understanding what mistakes can be avoided and how to navigate the complicated world of business growth. Mentors can guide without bias and can be one of the most powerful assets a female entrepreneur seeking investment has – learn from other’s experience and trust in their guidance.
Believe in yourself
You may often hear others talk about the importance of confidence during the investment process, although true, confidence is a secondary consequence of believing in yourself. Women who believe in themselves are a force to be reckoned with. They bring confidence naturally and organically, without coming across as cocky. To an investor, believing in yourself and your business is as important as the product/ service itself.
It’s a dog-eat-dog world and going into investment as a woman means you’re already at a disadvantage (even if it shouldn’t be). Female entrepreneurs need to display unmatched resilience and bounce back time and time again to prove that their business will survive against the odds, and is, therefore, a good investment. This is hard to demonstrate, but by giving specific examples, investors will see proof.