First Canadian Angel Fund for Women-led Start ups with potential for high growth

Lana Larder of  Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, is seeking partners and experts committed to developing the  First “ANGEL” fund for women-led startups with potential for high growth.  This Canadian “Angel” fund will accelerate the funding and growth of women led businesses in Canada.

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The First “Angel” fund for women startups will be managed by women and a committed community of advisors, investors, industry leaders and entrepreneurs.  Research indicates that if women were to participate in high-growth entrepreneurship we would see a significant and measurable benefit to our economy, innovation and society.  The First “Angel” fund will provide mentors and access to networks and expertise that women led businesses need to succeed and prosper.

The goal of the First “Angel” fund for women startups is to identify and invest in, and help grow women led companies with extraordinary potential.    

Why become an angel investor in an Angel Fund for Women led businesses in Canada?

1. To even out the playing field. (there are no angel funds for women led startups in Canada) For women startups it can sometimes seem as if they are the only female playing in a male dominated football field.

2.  The majority of female led businesses were just as likely to seek financing as majority male-owned firms in 2007 but were less likely to be approved for debt financing than majority male-owned firms and typically received significantly smaller amounts of debt financing than majority male-owned firms.

3.  In 2007, 44 percent of female business owners indicated that they intended to expand the size and scope of their business within two years, compared to 38 percent of majority male-owned businesses according to the Action Strategies to Support Women’s Enterprise Development. The Canadian Taskforce for Women’s Business Growth. November 2011.

4.  In 2010, over 900,000 of the 2.6 million self-employed workers in Canada were women (Statistics Canada, 2010).

5.  In the past 15 years, there has been a 50 percent increase in the number of self-employed women in Canada, according to a report released by the CIBC, “Women Entrepreneurs: Leading the Charge”. The number of women-owned businesses is growing 60 percent faster than those run by men in Canada.

6.  Forty-one percent of women small business owners say that they are not taken as seriously as male small business owners. If a woman is just starting her business, she’s most likely in B.C., Alberta or Ontario.   These provinces have the highest rates of growth in terms of women-owned businesses.

7.  This is a great time to be a Canadian woman in business. More Canadian women are self-employed than ever before. According to Shattering the Glass Box?, a report on Women Entrepreneurs and the Knowledge-Based Economy from Industry Canada, between 1991 and 1996 the number of self-employed women grew 44.3 percent (as opposed to a 20.0 percent increase of self-employed men).

8.  Growth has occurred in all provinces across Canada with the number of Canadian unincorporated businesses owned by women has surpassed the US since 1989.

9.  The number of women incorporating their businesses is also growing and women entrepreneurs are becoming more successful in a diverse range of industries including the knowledge-based economy and new technologies according to Industry Canada’s report Shattering the Glass Box?

10.  Shattering the Glass Box? concludes that while the knowledge-based and new technologies economy provides great opportunities for women entrepreneurs, it also provides diverse challenges.  Staying informed, acquiring funding for growth, finding mentors, and expanding into new markets are four areas the report identifies as being especially challenging for women in business.

The ranks of women entrepreneurs are steadily increasing. “Women business owners are succeeding because they are endowed with the drive, the confidence and the determination that mark true entrepreneurs,” says François Beaudoin, BDC President and CEO in Women Entrepreneurs in Canada: Geared Toward Success).

“Don’t be a bull, or a bear. Just be right.”

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) reports on how startups have raised money since the worldwide credit crisis. According to the report, banks are reluctant to provide loans to startups and VC firms are investing in the mid – larger stage companies with a particular industry specific.

Here’s where the First Angel fund for women startups bridges the gap to fill this funding gap in Canada.

Government policies are boosting angel investment, including tax incentives, in the UK and France and co-investment funds in the Netherlands, Scotland and New Zealand. In Canada, there are investment scenarios as well for Angels with major tax incentives that the First “Angel” fund for women startups in Canada can utilize.

Usually, policy makers tend to focus on the venture capital market, which is more visible than the angel market. However, data predicts angel investors will continue to be the CRITICAL SOLUTION in overcoming the financial and growth challenges facing entrepreneurs, in turn, contributing to innovation and job creation.

The report noted that we need more exits. But without money for startups to grow and become “purchase attractive” (acquisition targets). It makes sense if we don’t have enough “purchase attractive” businesses there is usually less interest from investors.  In Canada, the First Angel fund for women startups will provide more money for startups and increase “purchase attractive” businesses in Canada, and more interest from local and international investors.

Recent reports by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) reported only 5 % of angel investors in Europe are women and there are only 13 % in the US.  There are no Angel funds directed towards women startups in Canada.

“It’s the unseen that will ultimately determine true value,” said Jeff Sica, the president of SICA Wealth Management

A company will often pick a new CEO who was the CEO of another successful company, or a prestigious investment firm will likely pluck its new talent from only the best schools, Sica said. Factors like a candidate’s enterprise or temperament often take a back seat.

In Lin’s case, Sica said, “You can’t measure someone’s desire and intensity to succeed. The same holds for business leaders.”

“You’re turning the evaluation product into a computation mode, trying to oversimplify a complicated process,” Sica said.

The chairman of India Infoline group (IIFL), Nirmal Jain says the market always runs on anticipation.

He says, “Many times people look at liquidity vis-a-vis fundamentals but if liquidity improves fundamentals can improve because most of the companies can raise equity, reduce debt, recast the balance sheet and if the money market condition becomes easier then money can be raised from overseas or money can be raised locally at lower cost and that also improves fundamentals.”

Says Jain, “If you are holding good long-term stock, even if they correct by few percentage points, in a market like this when momentum is behind you, it is better to hold on rather than book profit in a hurry unless you aren’t very sure about the fundamentals of the company and are looking at exit opportunities.”

“We are just not as smart as we think we are,” said Bill James, the statistician and author who inspired Billy Beane of “Moneyball” fame to choose baseball players by new standards. Sometimes, experts first ignore stocks and business changers.

Recently, Canada’s Venture Capital & Private Equity Association, CVCA, president Gregory Smith, said there is concern about whether enough fund-raising can be dong to support the demand for investments.
This situation was illustrated by the fact new commitments to Canadian VCs were flat last year at $1-billion.

“Canada has a historic opportunity to become an innovation leader,” Smith said, adding that “in order to act decisively on this opportunity, we must first overcome challenges to supplying angel and VC funds that, in turn, supply entrepreneurs.”

“Don’t be a bull, or a bear. Just be right.”

 Join us and become one or our valued partners and/or experts committed to developing the  

first “ANGEL” fund for women-led startups with potential for high growth in Canada.

The First “Angel” fund will accelerate the funding and growth of women led businesses in Canada.

Contact Lana Larder


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