If you have founded or assist a women-led start-up, you may have noticed that it’s difficult to obtain early stage investment. This should not be due to the quality of women-led businesses, nor the returns. There is considerable research on the success of women-led businesses. A recent study by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association (US) based on data from Thomson Reuters, found that only 7% of the approx $48 billion invested by venture capitalists in 2014, was invested in women-led businesses.
In the United States, analytics business Quantopia compared the performance of Fortunate 100 companies with female CEOs between 2002 and 2014 against the S&P 500 during the same period. The comparison showed that 80 percent of women CEOs during those 12 years produced equity returns 226% better than the S&P 500. Increasing the amount of investment in women-led businesses will, it seems, benefit the company, the investor and the business.
We have written a series of articles about seed capital and support for women-led businesses in Australia. We have already discussed the Scale Women’s Fund (the Fund) founded by Scale Investors and now turn our attention to the Springboard Enterprises Australia business accelerator program, the Inspiring Rare Birds network and other support.
What is Forming Circles Global?
Forming Circles Global is an angel investment and mentoring organisation founded by Renata Cooper that mainly invests in women-led technology start-ups. Forming Circles Global also focuses on building the Founders Circle of entrepreneurs, a collaborative group of people involved in leadership, award-winning startups and disruptive technologies, designed to assist companies in their entrepreneurial endeavours through mentorship.
Their founder, Renata, explains that: “Forming Circles Global was born of a desire to give women with great ideas access to funding and a support network conducive to growth. Forming Circles Global invests in women who we believe are exceptional founders, challenge the status quo, disrupt industries and want to give back. We are helping women achieve their goals and making their business vision a reality.”
What are the Forming Circles Global Investment Goals?
Forming Circles Global aims to invest $500,000 over three years, divided into:
- Angel capital pitching opportunities for technology startups operating in high growth markets;
- Two annual business grants and mentorship from industry thought leaders ($5,000 each); and
- An annual grant for an Australian social enterprise operating in a developing country.
Pitching opportunities follow a scheduled calendar, and you must join the mailing list to register your interest.
Who are the Grants Open To?
The grants are open to all registered Australian businesses (founded or led by women in a key leadership role), and a judging panel selects winners. To receive updates on when to apply, you can subscribe to the Forming Circles Global newsletter. The next grant opportunity by Forming Circles Global is to be made available in early 2016.
If you seek investment from Forming Circles Global, we can assist you with your pitch deck, Term Sheet and Shareholders Agreement. We have considerable experience in seed and venture capital. Not only have we assisted many small and large businesses to bring in invenstors, but we have done it ourselves and so have direct and personal experience as entrepreneurs as well as advisors.
We understand the capital raising market practices so don’t waste time. If you have any questions about raising capital or your startup, let our startup lawyers know on 1300 544 755.