Whether you’re launching a startup or seeking funding to keep your established business going, Kathryn Petralia, co-founder of Kabbage – a leading provider of online loans for small businesses in the United States, has five tips that you should follow which will help you also as an African woman entrepreneur.
The truth is that it’s harder for women to get business funding than men. Kathryn shares, “I’ve been in more than 100 meetings with venture companies in the past six years, and I can count on one hand the number of women in these rooms.” Despite the challenges women face, the good news is that Kathryn has seen more companies over the last several years that are interested in funding women-owned and managed businesses.
Here are Kathryn’s five tips to help you find the funding your business needs:
1. Have a Good Story
You need to have a good story and be able to communicate it simply. When you’re looking for business funding, the people holding the checkbook need to hear your vision and know that you’re passionate about it.
2. Build a Strong Team
Investors will invest in your team. They need to believe that you can do it — that you and your team truly can achieve the goals that you claim to be able to reach. Show them that your team has the experience and the right dynamic to make it happen.
3. Find a Business Partner
A business partner or co-founder can be really effective at all stages of business growth. Being able to get different opinions can better position your business for success and funding.
4. Be Organized
Make it easier for investors to assess your business’ performance by staying organized and using tools and data technology like Xero for accounting and Expensify for for expenses.
5. Establish Your Business Credit
Don’t use your personal credit for business because it artificially deflates your personal credit score and does nothing to help your business. Instead, start establishing your business credit by getting a business credit card and using it. You need to build your business’ credit to show that your business is a safe investment.
For women, Kathryn advises, “We impose burdens and expectations on ourselves. You need to let go of these expectations or you’ll never be satisfied. All they do is create barriers in our minds.”