The National Women's Business Council Hosts Panel Discussion on the Gender Gap in Venture Capital

Unprecedented growth should be matched with unprecedented investment

Aug 19, 2015, 16:25 ET from National Women's Business Council

NEW YORK, Aug. 19, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Women's entrepreneurship and, specifically, high growth women's entrepreneurship has seen remarkable progress in the last decade. According to the newly released Survey of Business Owners via the United States Census Bureau, as of 2012, there are 9.9 million women-owned businesses, generating 1.6 trillion in receipts and employing 8.9 million people. That's 2.1 million more women-owned businesses in 2012 than 2007 and almost 1.5 million more jobs. Additionally, from 2007-2012 the increase in employees of women-owned firms is an increase of 19.5%; the increase in men-owned businesses was only 11.5%.[1]

Despite this momentum, women continue to lack access to the crucial assets they need to launch and scale their businesses, specifically in the arena of raising venture capital. According to a study out of Stanford, women-led enterprises only receive 4.2% of venture capital. Additionally, only 4% of women work in the upper echelons of venture capital firms. [2] And, according to Forbes, less than 2% of women-owned businesses pass the million dollar mark.

"We believe part of the reason more women aren't receiving venture capital is the lack of diversity at the top in these firms. Studies suggest that more women in leadership in venture capital firms would lead to more investment in women-led enterprises," said Carla Harris, Presidentially-appointed Chair of the National Women's Business Council.

"The Council firmly believes it behooves us to supply aspiring and growth-minded women entrepreneurs with the money they need to successfully grow and scale their ventures. We already know – when you invest in women, you see returns."

On September 11th, 2015 at 2pm EST, the National Women's Business Council is hosting a public meeting and panel to discuss the importance of venture capital for women-owned and led firms, including proposed solutions involving the carried interest loophole, how to find and support women who work in venture capital and share some best practices on how to secure venture capital.

Confirmed panelists include:

  • Carla Harris, Chair of the National Women's Business Council (Moderator)
  • Jules Pieri, co-Founder and CEO of The Grommet, an entrepreneur-in-residence at Harvard Business School, and one of Fortune's Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs in 2013
  • Julie Pimsleur, CEO of Little Pim and also founder of Double Digit Academy, a bootcamp training for women planning to raise venture capital or an angel round of $500k+
  • Jeanne M. Sullivan is an advisor, speaker, investor and connector. She is the co-Founder of StarVest Partners, a venture capital firm in NYC

The panel will be hosted online via Google Hangout from the NY Google headquarters. RSVP here:

"We are committed to changing the ratio of how many women receive venture capital. We know it's a safe bet, because when women do present in front of more diverse populations – they are able to raise funds. Take for example, Indiegogo and other crowdfunding platforms that have allowed women to raise capital," said Amanda Brown, Executive Director of the National Women's Business Council. "It's time to take action and distribute the investments, including ending the carried interest tax loophole for any venture firm that doesn't fund the same amount in women-owned businesses as men-owned".

The September public meeting will be on September 11th, 2015 at 2pm hosted online via Google Hangout. RSVP here:

The quarterly meeting is a standard operating procedure of the Council and an opportunity to share with the public the latest facts and information on women-owned businesses. The meeting will also include a series of updates on activities and research from the Council, along with readouts from our meetings with local business owners and leaders.

ABOUT THE NWBC:  The National Women's Business Council (NWBC) is a non-partisan federal advisory council created to serve as an independent source of advice and counsel to the President, Congress, and the U.S. Small Business Administration on economic issues of importance to women business owners. Visit for more information.

If you would like more information contact:
Samhita Mukhopadhyay
(202) 615 – 6570

[1] 2015 NWBC analysis of 2012 Survey of Business Owners data

[2] Tinkler, Justine E., et al."Gender and Venture Capital Decision-Making: The Effects of Technical Background and Social Capital on Entrepreneurial Evaluations." Funded by the The Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University and the National Center for Women and Information Technology. Accessed 19 Aug. 2015. 


SOURCE National Women's Business Council