Did you know that, on conservative estimate, less than 5% of female entrepreneurs receive equity funding? When Serena Walker of the Athena Business Institute learned of this statistic she started asking why. She discovered that actually a full 80% of venture capital and angel investors are eager to offer funding for women owned businesses.
However, it turns out that most women owned businesses are small to medium sized operations that do not qualify for or want traditional funding. The other well known forms of funding that remain are often limited, incompatible or too risky. So what do these many small to medium businesses in need of capital do to keep growing?
Enter the Athena Business Institute
Serena Walker, founder, has logged in several hundred hours of intense study on all the aspects of funding. Through her work, she has discovered many sources that are rarely publicized; she has found there are far more funding opportunities and sources than she ever imagined. As a result, she decided to create an online education program to teach women all of the ins and outs of funding for any type of business through an accessible and easy to understand approach.
Serena is launching her program on July 15th via a free online summit that will review the latest hidden sources and funding options available. Some of these highlighted options will be:
1. Grants and Competitions
Are there items you need to help run your business? There are many public and private resources that not only offer grants or prizes in terms of money but also through valuable resources, such as free office space, software or technical equipment, office furniture and the like, which can be a boon to any SME business.
2. Strategic Partnerships
Does your business require heavy duty website development, a way to market your business to tens of thousands of users or some type of critical expertise to function but do not have the money to pay for it yet? There are service providers turned investors out there that are willing to provide a critical service in exchange for equity, in lieu of a cash investment. These investors will also work with you as ongoing mentors and advisers.
3. Purchase Order Financing
Is there a big contract that you think you can’t compete for because you don’t have the cash flow to fulfill it? There are banks and finance institutions that will give your business the money up front to pay your suppliers based on the financial health of your customers and your purchase orders, even if you are just starting out.
Serena Walker is a lifelong entrepreneur who is making it her mission to help women business owners the world over grow their businesses through funding. Up until now, there has not been a safe place for women to come and learn about the constantly changing landscape of funding; where they can learn how to have the right conversation, with the right investor or source, at the right time. The Athena Business Institute aims to be the program and online community for all women seeking to learn about funding for their businesses.
The institute launches on July 15th with a free online summit discussing the latest available funding options and is open to both men and women. To register for this free online funding summit or to learn more about the Athena Business Institute, please visit www.athenabusinessinstitute.com.
The online summit will run from July 15th to July 26th at 1 pm and 9 pm EDT daily.
Serena Walker is founder of the Athena Business Institute, which is focused on educating women about how to obtain funding for their companies, regardless of their business background, credit score, assets, or contacts. Her previous companies include an education & mentoring site for entrepreneurs, the #1 adventure travel company in NYC, and a jewelry & crafting business she started as a teenager. You can follow Serena on Twitter (@AthenaInstitute).