“The future of wealth is women,” said Mina Black, Founder of RainMakers Collective to kick off a lively discussion during Women & Worth Summit about the impact of investing capital in women-owned businesses. Black was joined by Heather Hartnett of Human VC and Sarah Foley of SWAT Equity Partners in a conversation that offered tangible strategies and insights for those who are either looking to invest or looking to raise their own funds.

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With only 2.1% of the estimated $37 billion invested in U.S. startups going to female-founding teams, the panelists agreed that there need to be greater steps taken within the investment community. “We’re not impacting this figure fast enough,” said Foley. “There’s not enough capital going to female-founded businesses to turn the tide, and so we need to consider other ways to encourage new investors in this mix.” The underinvestment is baffling to Hartnett as well, pointing to the fact that the financial opportunity for women-led businesses is massive, as women control 85% of household purchasing. 


A 2021 study by McKinsey showed that within 10 years, women-controlled investable assets will increase to $30 trillion dollars, outperforming men. Black, Hartnett, and Foley agreed that it presented a huge opportunity for women to enter investing, and education can help them overcome challenges while getting started. “Often, women let their lack of understanding of a certain business model prevent them from investing,” said Foley. “We have to start directing our capital into pockets of real opportunity, advocating for your own financial health and wellness.”

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Hartnett shared that indecision on financial commitment and risk is another barrier for women to be added to cap tables. She explained how angel investing is a great way to enter the arena. “Invest in what you like and what you’re consuming. Identify companies in a nascent field and know that the investment will take six to 10 years to pay off,” said Hartnett.

Another barrier for women entering investing is indecision on the amount of risk and capital they want to contribute. “There are so many ways to participate, and the barrier to entry can be as little as $5,000 with investors who are also eager to help make more connections or assist in other ways to help the business,” said Foley. Black agreed, saying, “We often think the barrier is so high, but when we join together to invest, it’s not as scary and we lower the risk.” 


No matter the challenges, everyone agreed that the opportunities outweigh the risks. “We believe in the collective,” said Black. “When we build more opportunities for women to learn and connect with others, we can invest more money back into businesses that matter. We can grow wealth for women. When women gather in community, they’re unstoppable.”

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