Historically, the venture capital industry has not set a good example for diversity, equity, and inclusion. Angélica Fuentes Téllez, businesswoman and capital investor, points out that ensuring equality of opportunity for entrepreneurs, regardless of race, ethnicity, or gender, is one of the main challenges in the industry.
For Latin Women entrepreneurs, for example, one of their main barriers in the United States is getting the access to raise capital for their venture.
Disproportionate financing, stresses Angélica Fuentes
According to data from Crunchbase, in 2021, startups founded by women, or led exclusively by female teams, raised only 2.3% of that year’s venture capital, with no exact figure on how many of those were Latin women.
By comparison, startups with mixed-gender co-founders raised 11.7% of the funds. However, it stands out that 86% of the venture capital went to male startups.
Although the panorama indicates that more and more women entrepreneurs are accessing mega-rounds of financing at the macro level, Angélica Fuentes Téllez, a defender of gender equality in the business field, highlights that the financing figures are disproportionate, leaving Latina entrepreneurs behind.
«The financing barriers that currently limit women’s business development are entirely due to gender and racial biases. In conversations I’ve had with women entrepreneurs, the questions that investors ask them have little or nothing to do with developing their companies and their vision for the future», explains Angélica Fuentes.
The businesswoman and impact investor points out that while male founders are questioned about potential profits, women are challenged on the potential losses that their venture may generate.
For Angélica Fuentes, one of the solutions to this problem lies in the support networks that women build and their capacity to empower more women.
«We cannot wait for investors to trust us to launch our ventures. For this reason, there are more and more networks and organizations that recruit female venture capitalists, because they understand the importance of the gender perspective in the entrepreneurial ecosystem,» she says.
The All Raise organization points out that 65% of venture capital companies do not have any female investors in their ranks, so naturally, financing is allocated in a smaller proportion to female founders.
To reduce this gap, the organization has the key objective of increasing the number of women VCs, so that they foster venture capital for women to start their businesses.
«While in 2018 we saw that only 9% of venture capitalists were women, the effort that organizations such as All Raise or Melinda French Gates’ Female Founders Funds have done increased female investors in 14% «, says Angelica Fuentes.
The importance that Angélica Fuentes gives to gender equality in the private sector has earned her recognition as one of the 15 women who have changed the world by the World Economic Forum.