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Chicago Treasurer, Women Business Owners Collaborate to Boost Women Entrepreneurs’ Access to VC

Wednesday, July 26, 2017  
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For Immediate Release: July 26, 2017



Erin Musgrave

(530) 864-7014


Chicago Treasurer, Women Business Owners Collaborate to Boost Women Entrepreneurs’ Access to Venture Capital

July 26, Chicago — Chicago’s Office of the City Treasurer joined Women Impacting Public Policy, a national nonpartisan public policy organization advocating for women business owners, on Wednesday in hosting a panel discussion that explored ways to increase venture capital investment among women entrepreneurs.


Chicago Treasurer Kurt Summers and WIPP President Jane Campbell joined women venture capitalists, advocates and business owners in providing guidance for women to boost their competiveness in the venture capital market, including how to approach venture capitalists and navigate the lending process for women business owners.


“Too often women are undercompensated, underrepresented and underestimated and we need leaders in every industry to renew their efforts to change these dynamics,” Chicago City Treasurer Kurt Summers said. “As Chicago’s Treasurer, I am proud to work with organizations like WIPP to ensure the City of Chicago is a consistent collaborator and advocate in addressing gender equity.”


The event, held at 1871, a technology and entrepreneurship incubator in Chicago, also underscored the importance of investment by Small Business Administration-licensed Small Business Investment Companies (SBICs) in women-owned businesses.


A key recommendation raised during the panel was to develop female fund managers through an Emerging Managers track within the SBIC program, as outlined in WIPP’s 2017 Economic Blueprint: A Way Forward. The ranks of women entrepreneurs are growing at four times the rate of their male counterparts, and yet less than 3 percent of all venture capital funding goes to companies run by women. Research shows women ask for less funding to start or grow their businesses and receive only 4 percent of all commercial loan dollars.  However, there are a limited number of women fund managers and a study from the Diana Project found that venture capital firms with women partners are three times more likely to invest in companies with women CEOs.


“In a classic ‘chicken-and-egg problem’ many women cannot gain the requisite portfolio managing experience to become a fund manager, leading to a cyclical exclusion of women managers and ultimately preventing women from lending to women,” WIPP President Jane Campbell said. “We were so grateful to have Carolyn Galiette, the incoming president of the Small Business Investors Alliance Board of Governors join us on this panel because WIPP believes that women fund managers will listen to women entrepreneurs, and we’re looking forward to working with the SBIA to create an onramp for women fund managers. It will help increase VC opportunities for women-owned firms immensely.”




About WIPP

Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) is a national nonpartisan organization advocating on behalf of women entrepreneurs—strengthening their impact on our nation’s public policy, creating economic opportunities, and forging alliances with other business organizations.


About Chicago City Treasurer’s Office

The Office of the City Treasurer is the custodian and manager of all cash and investments for the City of Chicago, the four City employee pension funds, and the Chicago Teacher’s Pension Fund. Additionally, the Treasurer’s Office manages a number of programs that promote economic development in Chicago’s neighborhoods. The Treasurer is one of three citywide elected officials in the City of Chicago.


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