Guest Post, Vicki Saunders, Founder, SheEO
In 2015, 80 women from BMO joined with hundreds of other women across Canada to be the founding Activators of SheEO’s Radical Generosity, a new initiative to finance, support and celebrate female entrepreneurs. We collectively raised $500,000 to fund 5 female entrepreneurs who are building new mindsets, new models and new solutions for a better world.
What happens when 500 women each commit $1,000 along with access to their networks, their buying power as customers, and their expertise to support women-led ventures?
- Average revenue growth of the ventures — 40% in the first six months
- Ventures getting exactly what they ask for, within 24 hours, from the network
- 100% satisfaction with the personalized, guided development program that Ventures access as part of their support
- Numerous awards and recognition for the Ventures
- Activators (the women who contribute $1000) supporting one another, doing business together, becoming each other’s suppliers, marketers, and advisors
It’s just over a year since we launched this new model for financing, supporting and celebrating female entrepreneurs and it’s working. Lunapads was able to say ‘yes’ to a rollout in Target USA because they had the capital to fulfill their expansion.
Magnusmode, an app that helps people on the autism spectrum live their lives with more independence, has met with and closed dozens of new customers she was introduced to through the SheEO network. Toni from Abeego (the inventor of breathable food wrap) says that she feels her inner SheEO growing as she builds confidence in her leadership capacity and her unique talents as a visionary inventor. Coaching has been a game changer.
Coaching. Mentorship. Monthly advice from a network of radically generous women. Connections and introductions. And a pool of early customers who are passionate about your product/service. All of these elements are designed to create a whole new model of support not just for the Ventures but for the women who contribute their capital. SheEO is growing into a community of radically generous women supporting one another to create a better world.
And there are hundreds more female entrepreneurs waiting in the wings to be supported by us in 2016. In our first round, we had over 240 female entrepreneurs apply to get funding. There is demand. And a newly designed model of support for women by women is changing the landscape.
Women came on board from coast to coast, from the mayor of Victoria to Zita Cobb from Fogo Island. And the world is also applying. We have had over 100 cities around the world reach out to bring Radical Generosity to their community.
How it Works
Activators contribute $1100 each ($100 sustainability fee and $1000 loan to ventures)
The money is pooled into a fund. 2015’s fund was $500,000
In 2015, Activators selected five ventures (in a simple online process – everyone is part of the selection committee – one vote each)
And then the money is loaned out to female entrepreneurs at zero percent interest and paid back over five years.
When the money is paid back, it’s loaned out again. Our goal is a 100 percent payback rate.
All Ventures are coached regularly each month and they start paying back their loans after three months, in 20 equal payments over five years.
They report on their business impact online every quarter and the results are viewable by all – radical transparency in action.
If you’d like to learn more you can check out our website at www.SheEO.World
We have been recognized as the women who are hacking venture capital in INC magazine
If you are unsure why this is needed, read this: “While you are out there chasing Unicorns we are creating a new model”.
BMO has generously supported SheEO’s Radical Generosity since our launch 2015.