The Women’s Funding Network (WFN) is the leading funder of women-led and women-focused ventures that solve problems unique to women. The organization has been supporting women entrepreneurs for more than two decades, and in that time, their investment portfolio has yielded successful businesses like Bumble, SoftSocks, and Reformation, among others. With the power of a global network at its fingertips, WFN created the world’s first Women’s Funding Station in September 2017 to support even more women with capital and connections. This article will give you an overview of this amazing initiative and why you should take note if you plan on launching your own business someday.
The mission of the Women’s Funding Network
The Women’s Funding Network (WFN) is the largest funder of women-led ventures in the United States. In fact, since its inception in 1996, the organization has invested $1 billion in over 12,000 ventures, with an 80% rate of return. The organization funds everything from female-led businesses, to nonprofits, and initiatives like WFN 10x10x10, a program for accelerating solutions for women, girls, and communities affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic. The WFN’s goal is to create a world where women are financially independent, and to do so requires addressing the financial inequities and barriers that exist today. Specifically, the WFN is dedicated to closing the funding gap between men and women entrepreneurs, and has created initiatives to support women of all ages, backgrounds, and business types.
What is a Women’s Funding Station?
A WFS is a physical space that houses everything needed to build a business, from mentorship and coaching to collaborative events, office hours, and more. The first WFS was created in New York City in 2017, and since then, the global network has grown to include 10 additional locations including India, Brazil, China, the Middle East, and the UK. Each WFS has a specific focus to address the needs of the local community and provide the space needed to create and grow a startup. The WFS is the first and only organization of its kind, and it’s a place where women can come together to build their businesses and support one another. This makes it an extremely valuable resource for women entrepreneurs who, according to a 2017 study by Babson College, make up only 16% of all entrepreneurs in the United States.
How does the Women’s Funding Network work?
The WFN works to close the funding gap between men and women by providing capital, mentorship, and resources to women-led ventures. The organization has two distinct initiatives: The Women’s Venture Fund and the 10x10x10 Accelerator. The Women’s Venture Fund is the WFN’s investment fund that provides capital to early-stage ventures led by women. The fund has committed $100 million to ventures that are solving problems that are uniquely relevant to women. The 10x10x10 Accelerator is an initiative that supports companies with a product or service for women and girls in the areas of health and wellness, food, water, energy, and mobility.
3 Must-Have Apps For Women Entrepreneurs
– WeSpire: A collaborative platform designed to support women in building their businesses and careers. WeSpire provides women with ideas and inspiration, leadership tools, and resources to help them make better decisions and achieve success. – Wonderloop: A global community of women business owners who are changing the world through entrepreneurship. Members of the Wonderloop community can engage with one another, access mentorship and business advice, find co-founders, and more. Wonderloop is free to join. – Funded By Women: An online directory of hand-selected, women-led ventures that are looking for funding. You can browse the directory and apply for funding for your business.
If you’re a woman entrepreneur and you’re looking for funding, you can apply to the WFN’s Women’s Venture Fund. Applications are accepted twice per year, and the next application deadlines are in March and September. To learn more about each of the WFN’s initiatives, visit their website at wfnetwork.org. If you’re a woman who’s considering starting your own business, the WFS is a great place to find mentors, build a network of like-minded individuals, and grow your business. Simply visit the WFN’s website to find the location nearest you and sign up for events and programs.