Best of Systers, Community Voices

Female Fundraising in Technology

by Laurian Vega

As women continue to bust through the glass ceiling and create their own companies, one of the necessary tools to acquire is funding. Money buys resources, people, and time to create and see ideas flourish.

Acquiring funding by female CEOs and CIOs has been a recent topic of debate between systers over two posted links. The first link is more than depressing. In this article Jason Knott reports that women aren’t able to obtain funding. Now, the reason isn’t because women aren’t asking or are asking but getting propositioned for other services (if you know what I mean). It is because there aren’t even enough women to compete for funding. According to Knott, the Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Federal Contract program requires that there be at least two applicants to apply for a company to apply for funding. This doesn’t look like a hard stipulation, but it turns out that was because only one company actually applied.

The second link is a bit more controversial. In it the blogger discusses her perceptions and possible experiences with trying to acquire funding. She explains that when trying to acquire funding she perceives that people have propositioned her for more than funding for her company. She explains that this is more harmful than just not obtaining the funding:

“What happens now? You have to come back home, and try to explain to your team, why you really couldn’t raise money. That it was there, many times, but you had to turn it down because of “stipulations” attached to that money. Do you have any idea what it’s like to be embarrassed like that in front of your employees?”

I will not debate whether or not things like this happen, or whether or not it is more harmful to put such statements out there. Instead, what I want to draw attention to is the fact that obtaining funding appears to problem. When there are stipulations on funding sources that are specifically designed for women that hurt rather than help AND when there are people discussing even the perceptions of problems for women CEOs obtaining money (misogyny aside), it creates a barrier that is quite real.



  1. Howard Gottlieb Says:
    July 19th, 2012 at 11:21 am eSo is your conclusion that women collectively aren’t raising as money as men or on an individual basis a woman will not raise as much as a man?
  2. Laurian Vega Says:
    July 19th, 2012 at 12:57 pm eThanks for the comment Howard. That is a good question. Based on looking at the links that were posted, it appears that there are barriers for both. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be organizations setting aside money just for women to help break down those barriers or women writing blog posts about the difficulties they are having. I, of course, cannot say conclusively one way or the other.
  3. Angie Chang Says:
    July 23rd, 2012 at 10:55 am eOne of the main reasons women don’t receive equity funding for their ventures is because of the existing old boy’s club. We’re creating a new girl’s club at Women 2.0 – hosting monthly Founder Friday mixers to network women entrepreneurs, investors and our supporters. I’ve met angel investors and fellow entrepreneurs at these meetups. Also we have annual conferences in San Francisco and New York where a thousand women convene to talk startups, funding, building great products – the next conference is November 14 in NYC. Hope that helps!