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El Yin y el Yang del ecosistema de emprendimiento e inversión

El Yin y el Yang del ecosistema de emprendimiento e inversión

WeInvest la primer comunidad de mujeres inversoras de Latinoamérica

La diversidad de género en distintas industrias es una demanda tanto del mercado laboral como del ecosistema de emprendimiento e inversión a nivel global. Contar con equipos inclusivos demostró ser fuente de éxito, pero aun cuando las pruebas están a la vista, las startups encabezadas por mujeres todavía encuentran dificultades para conseguir capital para hacer crecer sus negocios en forma exponencial.

Según un estudio del Boston Consulting Group, por cada dólar que recauda una startup con una mujer en el equipo fundador se genera 2.5 veces más ingresos que una startup con un equipo fundador de solo hombres.  El dato es claro: apoyar el desarrollo de  Startups liderados por mujeres podría aumentar de inmediato la producción económica mundial en hasta $5 billones. Para darse una idea, eso es aproximadamente el tamaño de la economía de Japón.

Por otro lado según un análisis llevado a cabo por Goldman Sachs —que plantea preguntas sobre el progreso de la industria de inversiones a la hora de abordar la temática de diversidad de género—, durante el 2020 los resultados de los equipos de fondos estadounidenses compuestos exclusivamente por mujeres y/o de género mixto superaron a los grupos de gestión de carteras que solo tenían hombres. 

La diversidad de género en Latinoamérica

En el ecosistema emprendedor latinoamericano la brecha puede ser aún mayor, pues tenemos en proporción al total de nuevos emprendimientos de alto impacto, un porcentaje muy pequeño de aquellos liderados por mujeres, como así también una participación muy baja de mujeres en puestos de decisión de fondos de inversión. 

Ante este panorama, después de 10 años de apoyar a emprendedoras de alto impacto a través de diferentes iniciativas como Voces Vitales, Women 2.0, y WeXchange -la plataforma de emprendedoras STEAM líder de la región impulsada por el BID Lab- , y haber impulsado “El dia de la Mujer Emprendedora de Latinoamérica y el Caribe, identifiqué que una de las causas más relevantes de esta problemática es quehay pocas mujeres inversoras en la región, tanto inversoras ángeles como mujeres  con poder de decisión dentro de fondos de capital emprendedor que aporten una  mirada de diversidad de género a la hora de evaluar una posible inversión. 

Pues entonces “¿Cómo lo resolvemos?”

Básicamente, encontrando la manera de identificar a las mujeres inversoras de la región, agrupandolas en comunidad y comenzando una serie de actividades en donde se logre visibilizar la labor de estas inversoras profesionales, que además puedan compartir conocimiento y experiencias con la comunidad target. 

Es así como  junto a Susana García Robles, Venture Partner en Capria y Executive Advisor en LAVCA (Latin American Venture Capital Association) y fundadora de WeXchange decidimos lanzar a fines del 2019 WeInvestLatam,  como una  respuesta a la necesidad de conocer quienes son las mujeres con poder de decisión para  invertir en Latam, transparentarlas, conectarlas, y disponibilizar los mecanismos para que puedan interactuar, y compartir conocimiento.Todo esto con un propósito claro: el de inspirar a otras mujeres a convertirse en inversores Ángeles, ingresar a fondos como socias, o bien desarrollar sus propios fondos y de esta manera contar con más mujeres del “otro lado de la mesa”. Así, cuando los equipos emprendedores con diversidad de género salgan a la búsqueda de financiamiento, podrán mejorar el ratio de éxito en la actividad de levantamiento de capital.

Es interesante  que este proyecto se haya gestado  en un año particular, atravesado por la pandemia del COVID-19, que en lugar de alejarnos, nos acercó gracias a la adopción acelerada de plataformas digitales que nos permitieron conectar más fácilmente y a su vez lograr un mayor grado de engagement.  

En un primer momento el proyecto empezó como un grupo de Whatsapp, logrado gracias a la colaboración de Juan Giner, director ejecutivo de ARCAP, que nos ayudó a conseguir la información de las mujeres dentro de los fondos de latinoamérica conectándose con las otras asociaciones de la región. Luego esa lista fue creciendo día a día, dado que cada una de las primeras mujeres miembros al menos acercaron una mujer inversora más. Pero claro, la idea siempre fue más ambiciosa. Muy pronto comenzamos a sumar webinars de temáticas clave de la industria e hicimos eventos de networking entre emprendedoras y el grupo de inversoras con el fin de lograr la conexión entre las inversoras participantes de WeInvest y las emprendedoras WeXchange. 

Todo esto nos llevó a comenzar el proceso de estructurarnos como ONG y sumar al board de la iniciativa a especialistas de la industria como  Sylvia Chebi, Cofounder and Executire Director de ThalesLab y Meghan Stevenson-Krausz, Directora de Inca Ventures,  y así seguir creciendo la iniciativa. 

Mes a mes, la plataforma se va enriqueciendo, y apuntamos a desarrollarla todavía más. La innovación está en marcha en Latam y estoy convencida de que en América Latina las oportunidades de ampliar el camino de colaboración entre todas las partes del ecosistema recién comienzan.

Entonces, para robustecer a las emprendedoras de alto impacto, existe WeXchange y para contar con más mujeres inversoras, ¡existe WeInvest Latam! De  esta manera se logra el “yin y yang” del ecosistema de emprendimiento e inversión de Latinoamérica  y el Caribe.

#foco #Consistencia #Pasión

Do You Have a 360° Network?

Do You Have a 360° Network?

This is a guest post by  Rania Anderson, author of The Way Women Work and Undeterred.


 

Successful women and men have a 360 ​​° network. Do you?

I see people spend a lot of time attending networking events and meeting people for coffee or lunch, but I see them devoting time to building networks that can help them be more successful.

Their mistake: spending all of their time with people that they already know, with people like them and with people of the same age and gender.

In order to be successful, we all need a diverse and robust network, with various types of relationships (consider the relationships between words, not only with contacts).

Here are five directions in which you need to create networks: above, below, throughout, inside and outside.

ABOVE

The ”ABOVE” network includes people that are older (metaphorically speaking), with more experience and who are more influential than you are. These people are able to become mentors or even be future partners or investors. These are the people that are able to open doors and make introductions; create opportunities. If you are an entrepreneur, these are probably the people with access to finance.

Where/how to contact these people: In specific industry events, conferences and congresses.

BELOW

The “BELOW” network is the network with people that are younger or more inexperienced than you. These people can serve as mentees or mentors that can teach you about new innovations.  The usually have access to information and have different types of contribution.

Where/how to contact these people: In universities, in coffee shops, through friends and family, or on social networks.

THROUGH

The “THROUGH” network is developed with colleagues working in the same or different departments as you do. These are the people with regular work. If you have a strong relationship with them, you’ll be able to turn to them for help and give them ideas about the best ways to get something within your organization. They can contribute more knowledge or warn you about the political landmines. Our peers are usually our strongest critics and the lack of strong peer relationships make it very difficult to succeed.

Where/how to contact these people: In your work space.

INSIDE

The “INSIDE” network has to do with people in the industry in which you work, including clients and users. Solid relationships with clients will bring business development opportunities. Whether you are in front of the client or not, relationships with clients and/or users are fundamental for the comprehension of their needs, competition and market forces. Lack of customer relationships is a weakness that I see with many women I coach. The result is that these women in new businesses have a very narrow understanding of customers and of the market needs which results in lower compensation and less promotional opportunities.

Where/how to contact these people: In client events, networking events, one-on-one meetings, conferences, industry events and social networks.

OUTSIDE

The “OUTSIDE” network is comprised of people that work in the field but are not related to your industry. These are commonly referred to as weak ties. These people will be able to serve as referral partners or service providers, such as bankers,  financial advisors, lawyers or people in completely different fields. This is one part of the network  that people often overlook or do not have time to dedicate. Big mistake! These exterior relationships are those that expand our prospects and lead to strategic and innovative ideas. These are outside relationships that often lead to new opportunities.

Where/how to contact these people: In their community, in cross-industry tests, through family and friends, through their mentors.

THE STRENGTH OF WEAK TIES

In the 1970’s, the U.S. sociologist, Mark Granovetter, published a document titled  The strength of weak ties, recognized as one of the most influential  publications of sociology ever written. Granovetter showed that people that we know well operate in the same circles as us and they know what we already know. On the contrary, people that operate in different circles have access to different information than us. Strong ties result in support networks, weak ties build bridges where we want to go.

It’s your turn to act: Evaluate the strength of your network in each one of these 5 groups. Do you have strong relationships with each one of these networks? How often are you nurturing these relationships? What else do you need to do to expand this network?

Continue reading here.


 

Author Biography: Rania Anderson, author of Undeterred: The Six Success Habits of Women in Emerging Economies and founder of The Way Women Work is a highlighted authority in the professional development of women in emerging and developing countries. With a strong conviction that women are the key to global prosperity she dedicates herself to helping women prosper. She is a global speaker, an executive coach, founder of a network of female angel investors and a contributor in business publications.

Is It Important To Attend Events?

Is It Important To Attend Events?

The short answer is “yes”. Why? Because one of the most valuable assets for entrepreneurs, is our network, and it is in events where you can start weaving a network of contacts or strengthening the ones that you already have.

Having a good attendance strategy and presentation in events, can help your company grow in positioning , reputation and business opportunities. That’s why attendance at events must be an integrated part of the overall strategy of your company.

The key is to consider the event as a project, as any project has stages of execution. That is to say that every event has at least 3 stages:

  1. a) Before the event:

– Understand the content of the event and the dynamic to be able to know in advance how to use it best.

– “Research the speakers”, know what they do, where they come from, their experience, as this allows you to decide if you will attend their lectures, if you’ll try to contact them after the conference, if you will ask them to meet during the event, with a clear and convincing objective. Connecting with speakers via LinkedIn before the event is essential.

Define what you want out of your participation in this event.

  1. b) During the Event:

ALWAYS carry business cards.

– Have your pitch rehearsed in 140 characters. Having a description of your company in a short and strong phrase ready is essential to keep people listening.

– Have your one pager ready when you briefly talk about your company, the market you are aiming for, opportunity for investors, solution that you bring to your customers, entrepreneurial team and what you are looking for in terms of capital or contacts.

– Ask for a business card or an email address of everyone you meet.

– Have a thank you email drafted for the meetings or the next steps that you have, or the next steps that are left in the meeting to send immediately after your meeting.

  1. c) After the Event:

– Follow up on leads generated during the event.

Meet regularly with those contacts whom you have a better fit.

Taking advantage of the networking of an event is a way to make the most out of our time, to capitalize on it, at the time that we feel the stage is set to grow our network exponentially.

Here is a short list of  the main benefits of participating in events:

  • Meeting new clients, suppliers and investors: One always focuses on networking events to obtain clients. However, getting good suppliers is just as strategic as the former. Discovering new products or services is necessary to continue being competitive in the constantly changing commercial scene. And why not take this opportunity to find our future investors or those that we can make more interested in investing in the future.
  • Contacting valuable partners and professionals: To add to our teams. Many founding teams have met or connected through events.
  • Collaborating with others: Each person has a valuable contribution to offer others. Giving and receiving tips about your company is one of the best assets of attending events.  I spend most events listening to entrepreneurs´ pitches and I consider this spaces an excellent tool for our deal flow. They are also opportunities to present yourself as an expert in your topic.
  • Connecting with influencers: Generally exhibitors, but also the organizers of the events are big exponents of the industry they belong to. These contacts can be extremely valuable to the business objectives of each development stage.

I hope that these tools will help you prepare for Wexchange 2015.

#focus #consistency #passion

Also when we invest our time in events!