100-day challenge to raise $1 million for female entrepreneurs in Vancouver
[In photo] Maggie Chan, community lead, Raise; Jill Earthy, co-founder Raise Collective, CGO of FrontFundr; Renee Safrata, WeRAISE, founder of Vivo Team; Angela Hamilton, WeRAISE, cofounder of Quupe; Sam Simonton, WeRAISE, founder of AMY Lifestyle; Merideth Schutter, WeRAISE, founder of PROtect App; Anna Heyd, WeRAISE, cofounder of Flax Sleep; Oana Papus, WeRAISE, cofounder of Flax Sleep; Vivian McCormick, WeRAISE, cofounder of Flax Sleep; Melanie Bradley, partner at Bordner Ladner Gervais and WeRAISE sponsor; Katrina Carroll-Foster, co-founder of Raise Collective and CEO of Kollectively
Note: This post was originally published on BC Business on June 7th, 2018.
Raise Collective aims to increase financing for women business founders
A collective of female founders, entrepreneurs and investors is calling on Canadians to increase diversity in business by launching #WomenRAISE: a 100-day challenge to raise $1 million in capital for seven female-led companies. The campaign ends July 4.
The group works to provide easier access to capital for female entrepreneurs and to engage more women in investing in early-stage and growing companies. The #WomenRAISE initiative sets up investor meetings with female-led startups seeking investment and holds events to connect female founders and investors. Businesses spotlighted during #WomenRAISE are part of Raise Collective’s WeRAISE program for women-led ventures currently raising capital.
Entrepreneurs seeking investment include:
Angela Hamilton, co-founder and CEO of Quupe
Sarah Morgan, CEO of Nano-Lit
Sara Bartlett, founder of Parc Swimwear
Erin Millar, founder and CEO of Discourse Media
Discourse Media and Parc are opening up access to investment for all qualified individuals starting at $150. The following businesses are also starting to raise funds from a combination of debt and equity:
Merideth Schutter, founder of PROtect Smart Personal Safety
Samantha Simonton, founder and SheEOof Amy Lifestyle
Anna Heyd , Oana Papuc and Vivian McCormick, founders of Flax Sleep
Renée Safrata, CEO of Vivo Team Development
The Raise Collective was founded by: Jill Earthy, chief growth officer of FrontFundr; Katrina Carroll-Foster, CEO of Kollectively; Paulina Cameron, director, British Columbia and Yukon, Futurpreneur Canada, and author of Canada 150 Women; Sana Kapadia, chief impact officer at Spring Activator; Genevieve Pinto, partner at Renewal Funds; and Lauren Robinson, COO of Highline Beta.
There are many investment or funding related communities in Canada like NACO, Open Angel, and SheEO, but RAISE is not trying to reinvent the wheel, says Earthy.
“We really want to be a collective,” said Earthy. “As in linking all the pieces together—because as you know, in the entrepreneurial world, there are so many great resources, but it’s confusing to those who need them.”
She continues, “We’re trying to be that bridge for women entrepreneurs to access the investments that they need through the various channels that are available—and on the investor side, we want to help them access deals that they may be interested in—but linking them through existing organizations.”
Men and women have never had similar entrepreneurial experiences, so what motivated the group to launch now?
“Our view is that the time has never been better to try to tackle these problems,” said Genevieve Pinto, another co-founder and a VP at Renewal Funds. “There are things like FrontFundr [a portal that allows non-accredited investors to invest], changes in laws in regulations, which now means that you can make smaller investments. We think now’s the time to make a pipeline community to help people start making small, early-stage investments.”
While currently based in the West, the RAISE Collective has formed strong partnerships in Alberta and Ontario, says Earthy. And while designed for women, she says that “men are obviously welcome to participate in this conversation.”
To shape the group’s next steps and contribute to Canadian data related investing, the group is inviting women across Canada to complete an online survey on personal investing habits, plans, and interests.