Alternative Paths to Successful Entrepreneurship
SheEO Inc. launches their Radical Generosity Initiative to professionally and financially support female entrepreneurship.
By: Danielle Taylor, MPC ’15
Everything is broken.
So declares the manifesto for SheEO Inc.’s Radical Generosity Initiative, a unique crowdfunding endeavor to drastically change the landscape of female entrepreneurship.
According to SheEO Inc., despite the fact that women are starting businesses at twice the pace of men and are responsible for 80% of purchasing decisions, female entrepreneurs are grossly underfinanced with only 4% of investment capital going to women-led ventures1. This may be in part due to a lack of media attention but according to CBC’s Matt Galloway, it is also due to the archaic boy’s club mentality, where men at the helm of investment decisions are less likely to fund female-led projects2.
The initiative is seeking 1000 women to contribute $1,000 each for a total pool of $1,000,000 to be invested in 10 female-led businesses. In addition to obtaining loans at 0% interest, the receiving organizations will gain access to the contributors’ professional networks along with their support, buying power and individual expertise. The recipients will also attend exclusive retreats and workshops and receive world-class coaching for an entire year.
Here lies the alternative model of entrepreneurship, one that is collaborative in nature and supportive on more than a financial level: all 10 recipients must collectively decide how to distribute the million dollars, which can’t be split evenly and cannot be donated to one enterprise alone.
In today’s “winner-takes-all” society, this path is stepping away from traditional models of monetary support and focusing on building strength in numbers by leveraging mentorship and capital from across a variety of industries.
Important in the evolution of alternative funding initiatives is the role of professional communication in communicating successes in order to transform public perceptions of female entrepreneurs.
SheEO’s approach considers strong relationships the foundation of successful communication and is leveraging this to “dramatically transform how we support, finance and celebrate female entrepreneurs.”3 With a grassroots approach to the traditional media tour, they are shifting the focus from marketing and advertising to community building and establishing meaningful connections.
Through a series of intimate mixers in major cities all across Canada, SheEO Inc. is engaging female entrepreneurs to ask for what they need and exchange expertise. Using social media to strategically promote these speed-networking events, they are fusing the digital future of professional communication with the age-old tactic of authentic liaisons.
With forward-thinking models supported by innovative campaigns, SheEO Inc.’s Radical Generosity Initiative is a testament to the eagerness for alternative paths in entrepreneurship and communication.
For more information on SheEO’s Radical Generosity Initiative, check out www.sheeo.world
1, 3 SheEO Inc. (2015, July 21). SheEO Fact Sheet: Radical Generosity. Retrieved from https://drive.google.com/a/ryerson.ca/file/d/0B8tZBrBXGn35a1BsZ0R0ay0yLVE/view
2 Galloway, M. (2015, July 28). Female Entrepreneurs [Audio Interview]. CBC Radio: Metro Morning. Retrieved from http://www.cbc.ca/player/Radio/Local+Shows/Ontario/ID/2672552312/