How one organization is getting venture capitalists to invest in women

9NEWS at 11 a.m. 10/11/16.

KUSA - We've all heard that women make up to 80 percent of purchasing decisions. Women know what they like and are loyal customers. 

Now, a growing group of Colorado women are choosing to support local, women-owned businesses through an organization called SheEO -- not CEO, SheEO. 

The goal is to raise and award $1 million to 10 Colorado businesses run by women.  

"Ninety percent of venture capital is distributed by men and then tend to fund what they understand," SheEO's Jennifer Simpson said. "So when women come up with a great idea for a product they like or a service they'd like in their community, it just doesn't get the same support." 

Currently, only 4 percent of venture capital goes to women-owned businesses. 

SheEO started in Canada and is growing in Denver, Los Angeles and San Francisco. 

Word about SheEO has spread virally and also among women who are meeting up at coffee houses, restaurants and even around kitchen tables.  

The next information meeting called "SheEO at Boss Babes Denver" is on Tuesday, Oct. 11 from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at WeWork LoHi, 2420 17th St, Denver 80202. 

To some, the initial investment is steep but SheEO refers to it as "radically generous." 

"The investment is $1,100," Simpson said. "It is a tax deductible contribution.  A thousand of that goes directly into the venture pool to get loaned out as zero percent interest loans. One hundred goes into a sustainability fund that provides mentoring and other kinds of support for the businesses. So, that initial, radically generous contribution creates these zero percent loans that over five years,  get repaid into the community and create a perpetually self-funding venture capital fund for women owned businesses." 

SheEO is also looking for those ten dynamic women-owned businesses that could use the capitol to keep succeeding. The deadline to apply is Oct. 31: 

You can apply here: https://www.sheeo.world/apply-your-venture/.

The qualifications are the business must have $50,000, be woman-led and majority owned by women.

To learn more about the SheEO movement in Colorado:  check out the Facebook page @sheeocolorado 

"Women are coming in not like 'what am I'm going to get back from it' but how can I provide the support for other women and get their products and the services I like on the shelves," Simpson said. 

Copyright 2016 KUSA


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