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Women entrepreneurs struggle for funding even as more women are writing checks at VC firms

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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?

GUESTS: 

  • 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

Cat Pastor contributed to this show which originally aired September 29. 2021.