Unlock the Secret to Securing Funding for your startup!

As a female entrepreneur, securing funding for your startup can be daunting, especially in a world where only a tiny percentage of venture capital funding goes to women-led businesses. However, funding is crucial to starting and growing a business, and various ways exist to secure it. In this article, we will walk you through the funding process for a female-led startup and provide tips on securing funding. In addition, you will learn the stories of female founders in the FEM-START network that have been successful at securing funding.

Funding Methods for Female Entrepreneurs

Funding comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes and there are various methods you can explore to grow your business. Before exploring the best ways for your business let’s understand the three most common methods to raise funds. These methods can be broadly classified into four groups: bootstrapping & crowdfunding, investors, loans and grants, and subsidies. 

  1. Bootstrapping involves using personal savings, revenue from the business, or resources at your disposal to fund your startup. Conversely, crowdfunding involves raising numerous people’s funds, typically through an online platform. Both methods can be an excellent option for female entrepreneurs who want to retain business control and avoid taking on debt or giving up equity.
  2. Investors are individuals or institutions who provide capital to businesses in exchange for ownership or equity in the company. There are different types of investors, including angel investors, venture capitalists, and corporate investors. This option can be a great way to secure significant funding to help grow your business. However, it also means giving up a share of ownership and control of the company.
  3. Loans are a standard method of funding for businesses. They can be obtained from banks, credit unions, or other financial institutions. Loans can be secured or unsecured, and the terms and interest rates vary. Loans can be an excellent option for female entrepreneurs who want to retain full ownership and control of their businesses.
  4. Grants and subsidies are support methods given by governments to support the entrepreneurial ecosystem in their respective countries. Both grants and subsidies are perfect funding options for social and innovative female founders.

Steps to Funding Your Startup

Now that you understand the main funding options, below you can find the first steps towards funding your startup.

  1. Identify how much funding you need. The first step to securing funding for your startup is to determine how much you need. Having a realistic idea of how much money you need to start or grow your business. This will help you focus your search for funding and ensure you do not underfund your business.
  2. Decide the type of funding that is right for you. Once you have determined how much funding you need, the next step is to decide on the type of funding that is right for you. Consider each funding method’s pros and cons and determine which aligns with your business goals and vision.
  3. Get your pitch and business plan ready. The third step is to get your pitch and business plan ready. This is crucial as it is what investors and lenders will use to determine whether to invest in your business. Your pitch should be clear, concise, and compelling. Your business plan should outline your business model, target market, competition, financial projections, and other key aspects of your business.

Success Stories of Female founders that took part in the FEM-START Up awards

Starting and growing a business as a female entrepreneur can be challenging, especially when securing funding. Despite the challenges, many female-led startups in the Netherlands have successfully raised funding for their businesses. At FEM-START we aim at changing this and supporting women entrepreneurs to get ready to go through the funding process. Below are a few examples of three outstanding female-led startups in the Netherlands that have successfully raised funding, Quan Well Being, Minite Works, and Breeze Social. In the section below you can get insights into their approach to the funding process.

  1. Quan Well Being, founded by Arosha Brouwer and Lucie Howie, a Dutch startup that offers meditation and mindfulness programs for companies and individuals, raised €1.1 million in funding from a group of investors, including Y Combinator with participation from 4impact, 3C ventures, Noor van Boven and Anna Brandt (Invested). To secure funding, Quan Well Being focused on building a solid team, creating a clear and compelling pitch, and networking with potential investors. The founder, Arosha Brouwer, emphasized the importance of having a solid business plan and financial projections to showcase the business’s potential.
  2. Minite Works, founded by Micky and Linky Chen connects companies to students looking for freelance work in areas such as marketing, sales, and design; raised €300,000 in seed funding from prominent business figures, including the former COO of a student secondment agency Aethon. To secure funding, Minite Works created a compelling pitch and business plan, showcased the potential impact of the business, and networked with potential investors. The founder, Micky Chen, also emphasized the importance of persistence and not giving up, even when facing rejection.
  3. Breeze Social, cofounded by Marsha Goei, a Dutch startup that is an offline dating app raised  €1.300,000 in seed funding from a group of investors, FJ Labs from the US and Hype Ventures from Sweden. The private investors include: Thomas Plantenga (Vinted), Kalo Bagijn (Binck) and Chris Zadeh (Ohpen). To secure funding, Breeze Social focused on creating a solid team, developing a clear and compelling pitch, and networking with potential investors. The founder, Marsha Goei, also emphasized the importance of being passionate about the business and having a solid vision for the future.

While securing funding as a female entrepreneur can be challenging, it is achievable. To increase your chances of securing funding for your business, it is essential to have a well-thought-out approach, a clear and compelling pitch, and persistence. Additionally, various resources and programs are available to help female entrepreneurs secure funding.

One such resource is a free course on “Introduction to Funding,” which covers the basics of funding, including the different types of funding available, the funding process, and how to create a compelling pitch and business plan. By following the insights and best practices from successful female-led startups, combined with knowledge from the course, female entrepreneurs can increase their chances of securing funding and turning their business vision into a reality.

In conclusion, funding should not be a hidden secret for female entrepreneurs. By learning from the experiences of successful female-led startups and taking advantage of the resources and programs available, female entrepreneurs can increase their chances of securing the necessary funding to start and grow their businesses. Follow our free course on “Introduction to Funding” to learn more.


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