GIT RESOURCE :: Funding and Loans for Women Owned Businesses

FUNDING!  We all need a little help every now and then. If you’re fortunate enough to have capital for your company in its early stages, kudos to you! However, stats from INC. Magazine state that, “Women get less than 5% of VC funding, despite evidence that women-led tech companies, when venture-backed, bring in 12 percent higher revenue than similar male-led companies and have a 35 percent higher return on investment.”

How can you prepare for funding success? To start, make sure you have a business plan that answers all of the following questions and more:

  1. Is your target audience well defined? Is your service or product serving the public or a specific smaller segmented audience? Most importantly, will this customer base want to tell their friends about your business?
  2. Does the need for your product or service stand the test of time, or is it just a trend?
  3. Is your team or partner just as committed to your business as you are? What roles will you take in your business? Are you and your team up for all the pressures that come with maintaining your new venture? Are you hiring additional staff? Did you account for them?
  4. Where will your business be located?
  5. What is your monthly cost for supplies and where will you purchase them?
  6. How much is business insurance for your company?
  7. How much money will you need to start and keep your business running for several months?

Now that you’re prepped for success, let’s take a look at some options we pulled from a few amazing sources:

Seed Funding and Venture Capital






Female Investors

Loan Programs

Accelerators & Incubators

We hope this list was helpful! Happy to hear about your progress! Tweet us @GirlsinTech on Twitter!


Hilary Weber is all about integration.  We’re with her on that. This Start-Up advisor, Cal MBA, & SkyDeck Berkeley Board Member packed a ton of great advice in our interview with her. Check her out:

Q1:  Who was your first female mentor and how did she help you?

A1:  My mom. She was really more of a pioneer in my family for women in the workplace.

Another mentor of mine was Laura Peck. She ended up becoming my leadership coach. She impacted me through an important time in my life, when I was given a leadership coach after returning back to work after my lumpectomy surgery I underwent for breast cancer.  She had LOTS of empathy, and was an awesome role model.

Q2:  You started Opportu out of your love for startups! Tell us more about what you do there and the company’s biggest successes thus far.

A2:  I started my first company when I was about 10 or 11.  I’ve always had the bug. It was natural for me to be attracted to this audience.  Nimble, newer companies are going to be the resource needed in bringing prosperity to a whole new world. It’s very exciting! Startups tend to have more of a mission driven perspective.

Successes for Opportu in my role? Well I get to work with wonderful clients and I’ve helped them received more than twice the funding we were working toward, which is great. Another great personal success for me has been most recently being appointed as the Venture Advisor for SkyDeck’s Board!

Q3:  Congratulations on the new role!! How exciting is that!?  Well, we know you are speaking at the upcoming Catalyst Conference! Give us a glimpse of what you will be discussing.

A3:  I’ll be discussing the topic of that persistent negative voice we all have that can get in the way sometimes in leadership roles.  I like to work to empower people, and sometimes we just have to deal with this issue head one.  There is some training coaches receive to deal with this during their coaching certification but it doesn’t really drill down enough.  I wanted to take it a step further and create something interactive. So not only will the audience hear what I’m saying but they will also have the chance to look around the room and visualize it as well.  I think it’s that part of being human that people connect with the most, that helps people to learn as well.

Q4:  An Ohio State degree and MBA from CAL are amazing, but I’m most interested in the Myers Briggs and Coaching Program background you have. How have these two programs helped your professional track?

A4:  Ah the coaching programs! For most coaching programs if they are in fact worthwhile, they will start with you being “coached” right? You then start to understand the value. This is critical–especially when you are doing the work. Then you continue to seek out coaching as needed, and screen who your next coach will be. I believe it’s an ongoing process.

For Myers Briggs, I was first introduced to the concept during my time with Kaiser Permanente.  I just felt like we needed some sort of team building program. One of my team members had an amazing epiphany, because her profile was sooo different from everyone else’s after she’d taken the test and received her results! It was like a relief for her!  It was no longer a mystery why her preferences were so different from everyone else’s.  It was through this process that I learned that you can never learn too much about yourself or the way people think.

Q5:  You have 2 kids, a husband, are a venture advisor for two companies, and own your own company.  What has been your saving grace to balance?

A5:  As part of my coaching manifesto, I’ve actually thrown out the word “balance,” and replaced it with the word “integration.”  People feel more guilty if they are “out of balance.” I find that when you integrate things, work to maintain joy on the daily, feel happy with what you’re doing now, and celebrate, that form of integration becomes more special because you’re more interested in the moment and integrating things you want to happen in your life!

 We like that form of integration, Hilary! Thanks so much for your time and we can’t wait to talk more atCatalyst.GirlsInTech.Org! We’ll be tweeting you at @opportucoaching.


ELATED to talk to Sharon Wienbar, Partner at Scale Venture Partners. She is an amazing woman that you get to meet in 3…2…

Q1:  Who was your first female mentor and how did she help you?

My parents didn’t go to college, and I worked at a  jewelry store in high school at Lakewood Mall in Lakewood, CA.  The store sold contemporary fine jewelry, and was owned by a couple who were both passionate about the designs–just as I was. The wife of that team coached me on how to be a good sales person, how to talk to customers, and how to listen to customers.  I was there for 3 years part-time and became top sales person in the company.  They took the time to invest in me and to train me to do better. This set the bar for how I began to interact with customers and co-workers.

Nowadays there is so much emphasis on enrichment programs, tests, and other things around school that often times the value of work gets lost.  Getting things done in groups and learning how you conduct yourself around adults — it’s those basic life skills that help set the base.

Q2:  You’ll be speaking at the upcoming Catalyst Conference for Girls In Tech and we’re excited to have you! What will you be discussing with our students and professionals who will be attending the conference?

I’m going to talk about entrepreneurship, start-ups, or just trying to do something new within larger company.  The backdrop is going to incorporate some of my personal story growing up, and learning to adapt to take more risks.  My talk is called, Entrepreneurship: It’s Gonna Get A Little Messy. Control is the game.  If you only rely on control, you’ll have a  very hard time pushing yourself outside of the boundaries of what you know you can do. Feeling, embracing failure, and letting go are all part of the process! You become more capable of trying the more you let go.

Q3:  Let’s talk about the multiple boards you are a part of. …Actually, we’d rather know more about how you manage being a part of all 6 boards, being partner at a top company, having a husband, being a mom of two and attaining such grace! What’s your key to balance? 

I’m a big believer that women can have it all, but you don’t get it all at the same time. For example, I worked in hi-tech as an Executive, but when my kids started school, I wanted to stop traveling. That’s when I switched to venture capital, but continued to contribute at a high level.  The great part is that I was physically present (being at home for dinner, etc.).  I shifted what I was doing and how I did my work.

Now that the kids are older, I have taken on something different– rowing! I’m working out 2 hours a day & I travel a lot for it. My kids however are now either in college or on their way.  I  just learned to delegate a lot! Expect that kids can do a lot.  It’s good for them to have those responsibilities like to get up on time, complete their homework on their own, etc.  Don’t micro-manage even the child care provider.  For your husband, let him step-up and roll with it.

Also, you have to learn how to delegate well in the office.  If a person knows what they’re doing, give them leadership tasks! Giving up micro-managing frees up ALOT of time. Figure out which things you can fully delegate and where you need to stay involved.

Q4:  You’ve been with BA Venture Partners/now/Scale Venture Partners for 14 years as a Managing Director now Partner. What motivated you to work with Scale and what are some of the key tasks in your role?

I wanted to switch to venture capital . I like the strategic elements and enjoy hands on projects, being a part of the recruiting strategy, business development.  I started talking to a bunch of venture funds, but what attracted me to SCALE was that it was like a start-up venture fund! I LOVED that!  We could help build the brand, make lots of fun decisions, mold the company culture and recruit the next crop of top people for the company.

Q5:  Have you seen women become more collaborative in the STEM space? What do you think are 2 key things professional women can do to encourage STEM careers?

This is important especially since women in Computer Science careers are at 18.8% and this number has declined every year since 1984.  There are lots of women who are qualified. There are so many different ways to put Computer Science programming “to work,” but women don’t have the concept of how broad that scope is.

Software is becoming the interface for how we experience life — from UI, mobile companies, to L’Oreal, women can be involved in the maker experience! Computer Science is not just about gaming.

No, it isn’t Sharon, and we’re so happy you are bringing this topic to the forefront. Thank you for the interview and please tweet Sharon at @wienbar on Twitter !