Two years ago I began the Pipeline Fellowship (now known as Pipeline Angels), an angel-investing bootcamp for women. This experience exploded my world as I knew it and awoke passions that lay dormant for years. I had gone through a divorce and was searching for a new career direction – one that was meaningful and would allow me to empower other women. I had heard too many stories of glass-ceiling struggles and had experienced sexism in my own life – both personally and professionally. And most important, I was the proud mother of two daughters. This fellowship was exacty what I was looking for and I soon learned that angel investing in female-founded social-impact companies was exactly where I belonged.
Angel investing is inherently risky. Not only do most startups fail, but those that do scale often take 5-10 years to return profits to investors. So the big question is WHY. Why become an angel investor? Why risk hard-earned savings when there are infinite ways to spend, share and invest? Here are five reaons why:
1. Angel investing can be the bridge connecting one's values to one's financial power.
2. As an angel investor, YOU get to choose which entrepreneurs to fund. There's no dominating influence to sway you out of listening to your gut. It is about YOU and the connection you have to each entrepreneur.
3. Investing in women-founded companies creates more opporiunities for women. The more women that are funded means more women who are given a voice. And more women in leadership positions means more women who are hired, on boards, and whose ideas are heard.
4. Angel investors often find themselves within a new network of like-minded peers who share values and a common mission. These relationships and connections are invaluable and can follow one throughout one's life and career.
5. If a company succeeds, the profits can be hefty. If you're willing to take a financial risk while supporting an entrepreneur you believe in, you can actually make a significant profit WHILE making the world a better place. And if an angel investor's portfolio is diverse, the exits of successsful companies will easily compensate for the investments in startups that didn't succeed.
Women investing in women is an extraodrinary way to align money with values, to work toward gender equality, and to do well financially while doing good in the world.
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