Frequently Asked Questions

 

Why is #radicalgenerosity only open to women? 

There is emerging data to show that women investors better understand women-led Ventures and women-led Ventures funded by women perform better. 

It’s clear that women and men will need to work together if we are going to change the landscape. And we know it is going to take time. Our starting point is women-only. We believe that building a supportive community of women engaging with their capital is the missing link that the world needs in order to catalyze significant change. Right now, we
feel that the power of women to create change is palpable. We aim to launch thousands of concrete, compelling and inspiring examples of women helping women around the world to remind all of us that we have all we need to redesign, redefine and recreate this world. As we witness and recognize our collective power we may begin to engage with men. 

What about diversity? 

Our goal is to build a new economy. We believe that there is a lack of diversity in our current system. We need gender diversity. Women were not at the table to design the current model we have. We need to be at the table to create a new model. We also need intellectual and cultural diversity. It is our intention to build a highly diverse community. In our pilot, 500 women selected the companies they were most excited about. As it turns out, the selected Ventures were not only diverse in sector (food, hygiene, tech, education, consumer packaging), they were also founded by diverse leaders. 

What is your business structure? 

SheEO Canada Fund is a federally incorporated not-for-pro t.
SheEO’s Radical Generosity Fund is a designated fund managed through Philanthropic Ventures Foundation (PVF). PVF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit http://www.Venturesfoundation.org/ 

Is SheEO taking an administration fee off the contributions?

Your $1000 commitment (minus the credit card fee) goes directly to the ventures. We charge a $100 sustainability fee per person. That is currently not enough to cover our costs of implementing #radicalgenerosity but when we reach critical mass it will cover our operations. For now we are bootstrapping with sponsorship from organizations and individuals who are aligned with our mission. Our goal is to be a self-sustaining business once we reach dozens of cities.

How is SheEO governed? 

SheEO has a Board of Directors who meet quarterly. All financial statements are audited annually and available upon request. 

How does the process work? 

From September-November each year, hundreds of local female entrepreneurs in your city apply to join SheEO’s Venture Program. 1000 women (Activators) commit $1,100 each ($1000 contribution towards Ventures and $100 sustainability fee) through our secure, online portal on the SheEO.World website between mid-August and November 30. That $1000 will be pooled together with 1000 other women in your city to create a one million- dollar fund. Once all the Venture applications are in, 25 semi-finalists (who are selected
by you through a radically redesigned selection process online) are chosen and every Activator will then vote for their top ten Ventures. 

These Ventures will then have the opportunity to join our community. They will gather at a retreat with the SheEO Development Program Leads and have the opportunity to split the million-dollars amongst themselves using a peer-based decision making process based on two rules: 1) you can’t give it all to one Venture, and 2) you can’t divide it up evenly. 

Activators

What is an Activator? 

We call women who become members of our community Activators because in our network you need to be a verb; activating your capital, your networks, your buying power and your experience. As members support Ventures in this rich ecosystem, they also support one another – creating a virtuous cycle of radical generosity that will lead to a radically new economy. 

What am I committing to as an Activator? 

We welcome all levels of participation and consider this to be a community that works for you on your own terms. We understand that life gets crazy so we don’t ask you to engage in a way that works for you. If you want to contribute your capital and come to one event, great. If you want to be highly engaged, host a salon or breakfast, and help grow the movement, that works too! Your participation in #radicalgenerosity is on your own terms. No guilt! 

Why $1000? That is a lot of money and leaves out a lot of people in our communities.

We wanted to find an amount of money that was doable for many and would aggregate up to $1M in each community. We experimented initially with $5,000 but it was too high of a starting point. We thought about democratizing it down to $100 but that would require us to nd 10,000 women locally, and we felt like that was too big of a group to engage. SheEO is designed to be an experience where women contribute capital, expertise, networks and buying power to help grow Ventures. In the process, our hope is that we
all realize we have all that we need to change the world. The only thing that changes
your story about your efficacy in the world is an experience. The experience needs to go beyond simply providing capital. So, we opted to start with a simple model that was big enough but also doable - 1000 people. 

How is my $1100 categorized?

Your $1100 is an act of radical generosity. $1000 will go to Ventures in the form of a loan and $100 is a sustainability fee to cover technology and program expenses. This money will be loaned out over a five-year period, paid back by the Ventures and then loaned out again. This is a perpetual fund in your community. In five years, we will reach out to you to see if you’d like to select the next cohort with the money that has been paid back. 

Note: we recognize that some of these loans may not be paid back in full if the Ventures fail. 

What opportunities do Activators have to be engaged?

Activator engagement opportunities:

  • Pre-review applications in a simple-to-use online platform to select our 25 semi-finalists
  • Online selection of the final 10 Ventures
  • Attend a one-day conference and gala in your community where we’ll announce the 10
    selected Ventures
  • Support Ventures through their monthly asks which come in email and through the
    online community
  • Each quarter you’ll get a Venture Health Check to see how the Ventures are doing
  • You’ll be invited to an Ask/Give event focused on how the community can support one
    another to reach our goals
  • Ongoing webinars and locally self-organized events will keep you connected
    throughout the year
  • Access to an online community to share expertise, ask for help and engage with 

How do I select ventures through your radically redesigned process?

You will be prompted with an e-mail asking you if you’d like to be involved in pre-screening the applications down to 25 semi-finalists. A link will take you to an online portal where you can view the Venture applications and choose the companies that you are passionate about. 

Activators select Ventures based on:

  1. Would you buy or recommend this product or service?
  2. Does the entrepreneur have what it takes to lead this Venture?
  3. Does the Venture have growth and export potential?

How can I share my expertise + networks + buying power with SheEO Ventures?Every month SheEO will send out a summary of the needs of the 10 selected Ventures in your region so you can open up your network, use your buying power, and/or share your experience to help the Ventures grow, thrive and succeed. We will also have an online community where you can touch base at your convenience to get the latest updates. 

What kinds of Ventures are you supporting? 

We are working to solve the issue of getting money to female-led Ventures that have new models, new mindsets and new solutions for a better world. These are Ventures that can grow and move beyond their communities to leverage our global network. They are not local restaurants or single-person-led Ventures. 

Can I track how my money is helping the SheEO Ventures? 

Yes! We have designed a holistic SheEO Venture Health Check reporting system which is filled out quarterly by our entrepreneurs and provides you with a dashboard of company performance so that you can see in real time, at a glance, how the teams are doing. 

How will you ensure that the SheEO Venture cohorts are held accountable? 

We have developed a personalized guided development program that Ventures sign up to. Reputation is the #1 motivator for good community behaviour. We also access our networks and community when selecting our 10 Ventures to ensure they have an exceptional leadership reputation. All entrepreneurs will propose a ‘use of proceeds’ as part of the fund distribution process during our SheEO Venture Program roll-out. Each Venture will determine milestones and reporting structure as part of this process. You will receive a quarterly Venture Health Check which will update you on Venture performance. 

What are the terms of the loan to Ventures? 

The low-interest loan has a five-year term for each Venture. SheEO will manage the payment terms and conditions. Access to loan agreements are available upon request. 

How will success of the selected Ventures be measured? 

SheEO uses surveys to track impact, mindset shifts, connections made, contribution to business success, revenue increases, markets accessed, jobs created, radical generosity indices, events delivered, people reached, and stories of positive impact. 

When I signed up to be a Founding SheEO Activator, I didn’t realize I had to commit each year to be part of the community. Why this structure? 

  1. We are ‘grandmothering in’ the founding Activators so you will be part of the online community forever.
  2. To attend 2016 events (Gala, Conference, Ask/Give) and select 2016 Ventures, you need to sign up to be a 2016 Activator.
  3. Contributing each year allows us to fund more female entrepreneurs. Without annual contributions, we can’t fund more entrepreneurs. We’d love for this to be an annual gift.
  4. If we do this each year for five years (because Ventures pay back the money over ve years), then we will have a PERPETUAL FUND - one we can hand down to our daughters, granddaughters and nieces.
  5. This year you will have thousands more women in the community who can become your suppliers, advisors, customers and supporters in LA, Colorado and SF/Bay Area.
  6. Activators will have the opportunity to be part of follow-on funding initiatives, special discounts on SheEO coaching programs and much more. 

How do I pay by cheque? 

If you are based in the U.S., cheques can be made payable to “Philanthropic Ventures Foundation”. Please specify SheEO and add the regional designation in the memo line (e.g. SheEO - LA) and mail your cheque to Philanthropic Ventures Foundation, 1222 Preservation Park Way, Oakland CA, 94612 - 1201. 

Once you have mailed your cheque, please click on your region below to complete a final online form. Please ONLY complete this form if you are paying by cheque. 

              COLORADO                        LOS ANGELES                   SAN FRANCISCO/BAY AREA

If you are based in Canada, cheques can be made payable to “SheEO Fund”. Please mail your cheque to 375 Markham Street, Toronto, ON, M6G 2K8. Once you have mailed your cheque, please complete the following online form:   CANADA

I'M IN!

Who can I contact about committing?
Sign up to become a 2016 Activator HERE!

Ventures

What is the eligibility criteria for Ventures? 

Ventures need to be women-led and majority women-owned, and have at least $50,000 in annual revenue. We want to focus on Ventures with new models, new mindsets and new solutions. We are most interested in supporting companies that have a positive impact on society as well as a thriving financial return. 

Why must Ventures have at least $50K in annual revenue? 

We experimented with Ventures that were pre-revenue but they were too risky of an investment. Many of them have since failed (which is perfectly normal). We wanted to show that there are thousands of revenue-generating businesses out there that can hire locally, pay back capital at micro- nance rates (90%+) and strengthen our communities. 

Early success in any new model is critical. We want to be able to show success early on. We believe that we are doing systems change and culture change work. From our perspective, this is a decades-long initiative. The question was where to start - the model that has the biggest chance of success in the shortest period of time so we can then iterate, expand and grow its impact. When we get to 1M women supporting 10,000 entrepreneurs with $1B in capital in five years, we believe that we can then expand this model to create a number of different approaches with less capital, more capital, larger and smaller contributions that engage women to invest in the kinds of companies that will change the world. 

90% of our economies are made up of small and medium sized Ventures that are starved of capital because they aren’t considered unicorn (grow to $1B in value) potential. We want to start with those businesses that already have early traction and lots of potential that women are very excited about. 

We also know that every community is different, and so we are rolling out slowly at first to see who shows up, how they want to grow in their community and what the obstacles, hurdles and opportunities are. 

What kinds of Ventures are you supporting? 

We are working to solve the issue of getting money to female-led Ventures that have new models, new mindsets and new solutions for a better world. These are businesses that can grow and move beyond their communities to leverage our global network. They are not local restaurants or single-person-led Ventures. 

Tell me about the application form. 

Many female entrepreneurs don’t apply for funding and investment because the process is cumbersome and jargon-filled. We have radically redesigned the application process to simplify it and make it accessible to everyone. 

No jargon. No attachments. No pitch decks. 

We have a dozen questions in an online form that can be filled out in under 30 minutes. 

What are the terms of the loan? 

Each Venture receives a zero interest loan for a five-year term. SheEO will manage the payment terms and conditions. Access to loan agreements are available upon request. 

What happens if I’m one of the 25 semi-finalists? 

Venture semi-finalists will be asked to submit a short video and brief financial summary, and will be invited into our online community with access to the SheEO community of radically generous women. 

What happens if I’m selected as one of the final 10 SheEO Ventures? 

The final ten SheEO Ventures will be invited to a Venture retreat and participate in personalized development calls with a SheEO Program Lead twice a month. Ventures will also join the SheEO online community portal to connect with all Activators in the network. Ventures are responsible for completing quarterly Venture Health Checks and being available for media interviews and special events as part of their leadership role. 

Who decides how the $1 million dollars is distributed? 

The SheEO cohort (10 selected Ventures) will use peer-based decision making to decide how the money will be distributed amongst themselves with only two rules: 1) you can’t give it all to one company, and 2) you can’t divide the funds evenly. Our SheEO Program Leads will be in the room for this experience and will participate as guides in the process when they see learning opportunities. 

What if my Venture is not selected? Does SheEO provide any support? 

Activators are encouraged to provide comments and feedback to everyone who applies to SheEO’s #radicalgenerosity initiative. 

How will success of the selected Ventures be measured? 

SheEO uses surveys to track impact, mindset shifts, connections made, contribution to business success, revenue increases, markets accessed, jobs created, radical generosity  indices, events delivered, people reached, and stories of positive impact. 

 

How will you ensure that the SheEO Venture cohorts are held accountable? 

We have developed a personalized guided development program that Ventures sign up to. Reputation is the #1 motivator for good community behaviour. We also access our networks and community when selecting our 10 Ventures to ensure they have an exceptional leadership reputation. All entrepreneurs will propose a ‘use of proceeds’ as part of the distribution of funds process during our SheEO Venture Program roll-out. Each Venture will determine milestones and reporting structure as part of this process. You will receive a quarterly Venture Health Check which will update you on Venture performance.