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Do Woman Entrepreneurs Face Challenges When It Comes To Funding?

“It is very important to align your goals and have a clear understanding of why you need funds, what are you going to do with the funds.” Said Ishita Sudha Yashvi

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India is a growing economy with the startup industry getting US$ 30 million dollars in funding and having a 4X potential with 24 unicorns now and 100 unicorns expected by 2025. A lot of women entrepreneurs, accounting for 20% of the pie right now, also have an instrumental role to play.  But are they getting the right set of investors who believe in their vision. This was something which was deliberated upon at the recently held Women Entrepreneurship Summit and Awards 2020, organised by BW Businessworld, in New Delhi.

There was a special session Titled ‘Accessing and Making Funding Work’ moderated by Sonia Kulkarni, Managing Partner, Hunk Capital, which dwelt on the challenges and opportunities that come to Ayushi Gudwani, Founder and CEO at FableStreet, stated“Receiving or getting funding is a very important stage, especially for women entrepreneurs. There has not been much of a difference when it comes to funding for male or female entrepreneurs.  Venture capitalists have a very clear sense of what they are seeking from founders in their business. They are looking for proven business models which have a bright future.”

Ishita Sudha Yashvi, Co-founder & Chief Marketing Officer at Cross Border Kitchens. “It is also very important to align your goals and have a very clear understanding of why you need funds, what are you going to do with the funds. It is important to not just say that you have a great idea and are going to go out and get funds. The person who sees how scalable your idea is, how you are striving to achieve cash flow positivity, look at financial goals for funding and then sort of approach it. 

Mallika Bajaj, Founder Director and CMO, Little Yellow Beetle Media, stated “I really don’t feel the economy is slow. I think for me personally having experienced a lot of brands in the first few years when they die down because there is no innovation. Your innovation needs to have a purpose and your investors will follow. And when you sort of communicate your innovation over what is it that you want to raise the money for, just become rich or you actually have a mission. This is because everybody out in the market is so smart and can pinpoint who is doing business or who is trying to make money. You just have to be smart about that.”

Nancy Bhasin, Founder, This for That, “As far funding scenario in the country is concerned, every business needs external capital. VC Funded businesses are typical businesses which grow at a certain rate. Some businesses are better off getting funded by strategic angel investors some of them are better off in getting bootstrapped. The kind of deal happens on what terms are on the table and what stage your business is in.”

Shradha Sud, Founder, Mamacouture, “You have to be selective in the kind of investors you are approaching. Be very clear with yourself on who you want to approach and whether you have the same thought process.  Also, it is very important to be at the right stage at the right time. How much you are asking and what you are putting out there. Also, be mindful of the fact that they know your business very well and they know yours. Also, do not go to anybody without getting your numbers right.“

Vijaya Eastwood, Founder & CEO, CribLife Lifestyle Management, “You can’t merely seek funds unless you are sure of returning the money. So, it comes down to knowing that you have a business that works. You have to be extra careful that your business is scalable and you are able to give back the money before your investor even asks for it.

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BW Women Entrepreneurs Awards 2020 WESA 2020