By Vicki Saunders
This past week, in Los Angeles, Colorado and in San Francisco, radically generous women started to gather to create a new economic model. After decades of living in a system that doesn’t value, support or celebrate female entrepreneurs, the ladies are coming.
In Los Angeles, Delilah Panio brought together over 100 women on a yacht at 10a on a Friday morning. Entrepreneurs, investment managers, public leaders, female executives and everyday citizens came out to be part of the founding group. They will join with up to 1,000 women in their community to contribute $1000 each in an Act of Radical Generosity to create a $1million fund to loan to local 10 women-led ventures. The money will be paid back over 5 years and then loaned out again creating a perpetual fund in the community.
Delilah, the LA-based lead for #radicalgenerosity said, “I go to the many startup events and look around the room at all of these amazing women who have an idea and a dream… and I wonder how these women are going to get funded and not end up in bankruptcy and burn out. With less than 7% of venture capital going to women, we need another model. That’s why I’m IN.”
Female entrepreneurs from all ages and stages shared the struggle they have with getting funded, from a biotech entrepreneur who graduated from a top business school experiencing a challenge raising money while her male counterpart wonders in awe why she can’t raise money, to another who’s male friend said, just show up and be sexy they’ll throw money at you. Seriously, this is the reality of many female entrepreneurs.
In Boulder, at a restaurant owned by triplet sisters, Jennifer Simpson and Heather MacKenzie hosted women at an intimate lunch that uncovered a deep desire among the women to redesign our existing system and step forward with their capital. Later that evening, they launched #radicalgenerosity Colorado in Denver with over 80 women attending on the first night back to school for many.
Holly Ruxin of Montcalm TCR, a San-Francisco based wealth management firm, is so committed to creating a new economic model that she is sponsoring the rollout of #radicalgenerosity in San Francisco under Julie Trell’s leadership.
Women are showing up in each community to host events, invite their friends to join in and develop a rich ecosystem to support female entrepreneurs, on their own terms.
A funky 17-year old who is an illustrator with a growing business was told about the event by her mom, “I thought, women supporting women, I’m down with that.”
Another said, “I want my daughter to know that I was one of the founding women who made this happen. This is going to spread all over the world.”
As women come together to support the ventures with their capital, their networks, their expertise and as early customers they create a virtuous cycle of radical generosity and begin to help one another.
“You mean if I become an Activator, I can access all the other Activators and get their radically generous support for my company too? Wow. Count me IN.” – New Colorado Activator
Radical Generosity was piloted in Canada in 2015. 500 women came forward to create a $500,00 fund to loan to 5 ventures. In just six short months, ventures are set to exceed their revenue targets.
One of those ventures, by 240% and ventures are getting exactly what they need from the community within 24 hours of their ask.
Activators are also becoming each other’s suppliers, advisors, customers and marketers.
Almost immediately after launch in Canada we began to receive emails and social media inquiries from around the world. “We need you here. Can you come to our city? When will you be in Auckland, Los Angeles, Mumbai, San Francisco, Stockholm, Singapore, Brisbane, NYC, Houston, Portland, Seattle, Boulder”...and on and on.
Where is this going?
Our goal is to reach 1000 communities by 2020. That’s 1 MILLION women committing $1BILLION to support 10,000 female entrepreneurs, annually.
How can you help?
If you live in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Canada or Colorado, or know people in those communities please spread the word. Venture applications and Activator commitments of $1000 end October 31st.
If you live in other communities and would like #radicalgenerosity to come to your community, please sign up on our website here