Ways investors and founders,
can bridge the investment gap,
to the benefit of both
Every firm will find a different route, here's just one
On using this route map:
Choose to start with questions & info, or go straight into actions further down.
Have the conversation,
listen to different perspectives.
With your partners, with your team (one to one and as a group), at home, with founders,
seek people outside of your usual network.
As with any market opportunity, find out more, from experts,
consumers (your fund investors), those who may be consumers, test the scope of the market.
How to listen to get to the real root-cause issues
Nancy Kline, More Time to Think
Do you believe men and women are having different experiences of our firm?
And what else don't I know? Listen for 10 mins
And what else? Listen for 10 mins
Consider the strategic level, and plan of approach.
Consider the evidence on performance, under-investment statistics, and reasons for the under-investment.
Consider the implications now and for 5 years time, of not having an approach to the opportunity.
Consider the right plan of approach for your firm. Small steps, to build to an overall plan, or concerted strategic goal.
Consider where value-based assumptions are the rational for your evaluation criteria.
Consider whether the value assumptions are current
or reflect reality.
What leadership values connect with you as traits to deliver growth?
Consider who is an 'entrepreneur'
Interrogate the qualities on your criteria,
either written or accepted.
Do you value externally-orientated, purpose-driven, growth focused,
customer and employee centric, innovative, resilient,
Assertive, stature, confident, shareholder focused, results-driven?
Use diversity of thought processes: put out the thoughts and facts, gather options, then debate options (most influential speak last), explain your options,
encourage challenge to options, be transparent on the outcome.
Perception of higher risk in deviating from past experience
Over-fishing in the same pool of businesses
Consider perception of risk
versus reality of risk
Evidence of financial performance
Risk perception via gender myths
'Our image of an entrepreneur desperately needs an update--here's how we change it'
Food for thought
In my experience as a finance director in PE, VC and turnaround environments, the people element is amplified under investment driven growth. Investment changes the dynamics of motivation for leadership and employees, and can lead to disconnection of purpose followed by widespread off-track dispersion of energies.
What I've done as an FD doesn't seem to me to be rocket-science, it delivers financial results of +£1m EBITDA multiple times. Drive commercial results, through connecting with your founders, teams, customers and suppliers in ways that are important to them.
Simple, insightful, metrics.
A quick measure of key metrics
Help tell where you are and what may be happening.
Widen access to your networks
Networks not only offer access to those with capital to invest, the network ties act as referral recommendations.
Commit to a balanced invite list to your events.
Ask your network for female and diverse referrals
Broaden where you're networking.
Talk to the person who doesn't look like you.
Draw more business founders to you
Broaden your external relatability
Open investment criteria.
Give specific feedback.
Inclusive venue and dress code.
Balanced invite list.
Seek out balanced events.
Consider speaker diversity.
Visibility of female team members and founders. Consider broader scope for team profile and poses.
Consider how office culture, in accepted 'norms',
influence behaviours and decisions. Recruit, retain, promote female investors.