What breaks your heart?
This was the question that Komal Minhas asked everyone at the Elevate International Women’s Day Summit to think about. She said, that’s where to put your time, energy, and money.
I now know that I started this blog in response to that question. So what breaks my heart?
Economic dis-empowerment of women fueled by lack of confidence and required resources.
- 61% of women would rather talk about their own death than money1
- 45% of women say they don’t have a financial role model1
- 70% of women report the financial services industry has traditionally catered to men1
- All women surveyed wish they had more education around money and finance, 87% of women say basic financial management should be a standard part of the high school curriculum1
- 8 in 10 women confess they have refrained from discussing their finances with those they are close to2
- Female founders got only 2% of all Venture Capital in 20173
- 16% of Canada’s SMEs are majority owned by women and they tend to be smaller and slower growing than those that are majority owned by men4
- In the US, women start businesses at 1.5 times the rate of men and are at least half-owners of 46% of privately held firms. And yet, only 2% of women-owned businesses in the US break $1 million in revenue (and an even smaller percentage in Canada), let alone grow into market leaders.5
- Women entrepreneurs in general are not satisfied with their experiences with financial institutions. Lack of access to capital prevented many women from growing their businesses or slowed the process of growth because they had to self-finance their growth.6
- The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has reported on the need to increase women’s financial literacy, citing gender differences in financial management experience and knowledge as early as the “teen”years.7
- In general, entrepreneurs are missing the financial picture8:
- 1 in 10 entrepreneurs currently seeking investment don’t plan to prepare anything for their investment pitch.
- 35% per cent do not plan to prepare a business plan.
- 49% per cent do not plan to produce an income statement
- 68% per cent do not plan to create a cash flow statement.
- Many Canadian entrepreneurs entered an investment pitch with no balance sheet (38%) or business plan (23%).
What is a FinanciElle?
A community and conversation around money, financial literacy, and economic empowerment for women entrepreneurs, side hustlers, and women who want to invest in other women and themselves.
It’s a community about women making money moves.
- Promoting entrepreneurship as a viable career option for women
- Increasing visibility and positive messaging about women entrepreneurs
- Sharing information about successful women business owners and sharing information by women business owners about money
- Promoting female funders, female targeted funds, and support programs for female entrepreneurs
- Providing financial literacy tools
So who am I and why does this break my heart?
I’m a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CGA) and financial analyst (I turn numbers into information to help people make business decisions) with 10 years of experience, most in the tech sector. I’ve been a SheEO Activator for two years now, and I’m a CPA Financial literacy volunteer.
Growing up in a family surrounded by entrepreneurship, I saw first-hand how hard it was. When you become an entrepreneur you’re signing up for blood, sweat, and tears.
I truly believe having a strong financial foundation is key to having a strong business and that strong businesses can serve the communities they operate in.
Sallie Krawcheck, Co-Founder and CEO of Ellevest, an investment platform designed specifically for women and the fact that they tend to earn less and live longer than men, coined the term Financial Feminism, it’s about women doing four things with money:
- earning it
- making more of it
- saving and investing more of it
- and using it to make our world better
I think the above applies equally to female founders.
- Growing and scaling
- Investing profits back into the business
- and using the business and profits to make our world better, profit for purpose
For a long while I wanted to do a blog geared towards finance and women, my first iteration of FinanciElle was in 2007- 2010 (rest in peace) (I’d like to think I’ve stepped it up since then).
So, let’s make some money moves.
- Women and Financial Wellness: Beyond the Bottom Line, A Merrill Lynch Study conducted with Age Wave
- Fidelity Investments Money Fit Women Study
- Female Founders Got 2% of Venture Capital in 2017
- The Power of Parity: Advancing Women’s Equality in Canada, by McKinsey & Company
- Where are all the Women Entrepreneurs?
- A_Force_To_Reckon_With: Women, Entrepreneurship, and Risk
- Women and Financial Education, by OECD
- Intuit Canada Announces “Startup Foundations” Initiative to Help Educate and Support up to 10,000 Startups