Preposterous truths about venture capital for women entrepreneurs

a woman wearing business attire throwing money in the office

$4.5 billion out of about $238 billion of venture capital was allocated to all-women led startups in 2022, according to new PitchBook data.

This accounts for about 2% of all VC. The report says that companies with a female co-lead fared better – garnering over 15%. This was the highest share since 2017. The major finance rags tend to paint a rosy picture for women.

Google the subject and you’re met with the standard statistics. But also headlines like “Female founders prove resilient in VC ecosystem amid increasingly volatile market” complete with a smiling woman of color in her sunny office.

I understand the need to find the silver lining and highlight the achievements when there’s often little to celebrate. But look closer and we should be really pissed off (I know….one more thing).

4 myths that it’s easier for a female founder to fundraise

Camille Kapaun is co-founder of an e-commerce site called Nightingale. She’s continually bombarded with statements alluding to the fact she should easily get VC funding “because she’s a woman.” In her recent article for Forbes, she feels there are four reasons folks feel this way.

  1. Record breaking years for venture capital overall.
  2. ESG (environmental, social and governance criteria for investing) and the tokenization of female decision makers – reality doesn’t match up to the press releases.
  3. Headlines creating a façade of progress – one-off success stories get more media attention and lead to availability bias.
  4. Female focused funds are not equipped to be the final solution – they just aren’t big enough yet.

Kapaun states “This flood of capital to the startup ecosystem has made some believe that access to this capital has increased for women as well, when in reality women are receiving a shrinking slice of the pie.”

We can’t win for losing.

There’s been some interesting data released in the past year suggesting that not only are women-owned startups not being funded, but when they do receive venture capital from other women, they’re two times LESS likely to get additional financing. Not only is there little to go around, when it goes, you’re screwed then too. Throw in being an “othered” person and you may just begin to understand how the entire system is structured to NOT WORK.

I posted a blog called “Digging into the authentic shit,” a couple of weeks ago. I discuss the struggles of women empowering each other and overcoming “imposter syndrome.” The issue of VC funding for women by women is another symptom.

portrait of young woman
Photo by Polina Zimmerman on


I’d love to tell you I had some wonderful epiphany on what to do next. Some great idea of how to begin to equalize the playing field. Alas. My hope is these blogs start a dialogue and spark ideas. I’d love to hear ’em! Maybe together we can figure it out.

One response to “Preposterous truths about venture capital for women entrepreneurs”

  1. […] week I was lamenting the dreadful amount of venture capital afforded to women founders. I ended the blog with a plea for your ideas on how we could change that. In hindsight, it was a […]

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