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Getting More Women to Launch, Fund Businesses in Connecticut

 Start Up
Start Up

Women-founded or co-founded firms in the U.S. raised $25.12 billion in venture capital in the first half of 2021, more than in any prior year, according to PitchBook. The reason? Women founders are raising a greater share through late-stage deals and high-value sectors. More women are writing checks at VC firms. And networks of female founders are thriving in cities like New York.

Yet the investments are just 2.7%, or $3.54 billion, of the total VC funding pie, PitchBook noted. Within that statistic, across the U.S., just 34 Black female founders raised $1 million in VC money in 2018. That number, according to ProjectDiane, shot up to 93 Black women in 2020.

Connecticut saw the launch of a couple of women-owned investment firms and the acquisition of women-founded companies this year -- Mizzen Capital and Greenworks Lending, for instance -- but the majority of women entrepreneurs continue to struggle for funding in a state that has yet to return to its pre-pandemic level workforce.

How do women entrepreneurs navigate the funding environment?


  • Marie Rocha: Founder & General Partner, Realist Ventures
  • Wendy Ward: Founder & CEO, futures Thrive
  • Liddy Karter: Managing Partner, Mizzen Capital
  • Alexandra Cooley: COO & Co-founder, Greenworks Lending from Nuveen
  • Mary Anne Rooke: President and Managing Director, Angel Investor Forum
Sujata reports for the WNPR News business desk. Her features range from small business, entrepreneurship, innovation and microfinance to local impact of quantitative easing and changing trendsin global markets. She’s reported from abroad for WNPR and helped develop a segment on jobs and economic recovery, part of the business coverage.
Lucy is the Executive Producer and Host of WNPR's popular talk show, Where We Live. She’s been a public radio journalist for more than 20 years covering everything from education to immigration, juvenile justice and child welfare issues to veterans' affairs and the military.