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$1 Million For Female-Led Startups Focused On Women’s Economic Empowerment

There’s a growing number of financial funds focusing on women’s empowerment. Case in point: RSF Social Finance’s Women’s Capital Collaborative (WCC), which recently announced its first funding round–over $900,000 in loans and grants given to four U.S.-based women-led enterprises working in various part of the world. That brings the total amount disbursed so far to more than $1 million.

Formed in 2016, the WCC targets companies in need of early-stage growth capital, a critical period during which startups, especially those led by women, tend to have a tough time finding money. It’s what Lynne Hoey, RSF senior director, credit and loan administration, calls “the valley of death,” because the period is a make-or-break phase when businesses need to get to the next level of business—or else. “The WCC addresses a market failure for women, who have a more difficult time fundraising and face many more barriers than men,” says Hoey. She points to data showing that venture capital funds create extra roadblocks for women by, for example, looking for longer track records than they seek for male-run companies.

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