Venture capital firms fund less than 3% of women-led businesses. Many female entrepreneurs find new ideas to get finances and nurture their ideas. Below are self-funding tips from women business owners.
Abigael Cook Stone
Stone is a Co-Founder and CEO of Otherland, a candle-making company. She launched Otherland to make high-quality and budget-friendly candles while still a student. Stone got a small grant of a few thousand dollars from her school. She bought candle-making supplies and paid the initial legal fees.
She grew her business by buying inexpensive supplies online, making candles in the kitchen to save costs, and saving money from every paycheck. Stone spent the funds on a graphic designer who assisted in designing the product and the product she pitched to angel investors. They became receptive after visually understanding her brand’s vision.
Mo and Michelle Mokone
The Mokones are sisters and Co-Founders of Mo’s Crib, a home décor company. They began selling plastic bags woven into rags while still serving at their corporate jobs from 2016 until 2019, when they decided to go into a full-time business. The sisters had saved money to last them through the early stages but found that the business and their business needs were consuming the money too quickly. Fortunately, they got some financial assistance from family and friends. They began considering other revenue-generating openings like wholesale and partnerships. They also forewent night outs and vacations. The decisions paid off as Mo’s Crib started thriving.
Kaye is the founder of Parachute Company, selling bedding and home goods direct to consumers. When launching Parachute, Kaye talked to investors that did not yield funding as they said she was “pitching too soon,” and they wanted more progress before any investment. She turned to her community, joined an accelerator program called Launchpad, and got help to secure funding. She also got assistance to navigate the entrepreneurial challenges. Kaye’s self-funding tip is that seeking a network of entrepreneurs and talking to everyone is essential as savings. She reckons someone will point in the right direction and help in achieving goals.
Lindsey Johnson and Liz Eichholz
The two are Co-Founders of Weezie, a company that sells modern luxury towels and bathrobes. Liz developed the idea after encountering confusing jargon, archaic embroidery options, and unpredictable quality when shopping for new towels. She turned to Lindsey, who was her friend and an MBA candidate. They laid the groundwork for streamlined shopping and launched Weezie in 2018 with their savings. The idea was to avoid raising outside capital to allow growth of product-market fit before turning to investors. They raised a small Seed Series a year into a business from a small group comprising family, friends, and few high-worth individuals. Lindsey reveals that Weezie has become profitable and does not plan to fundraise soon formally.
Heidi Zak is the CEO and a Co-Founder of Thirdlove. Zak got an idea to start a direct-to-consumer Bras Company after a frustrating experience when buying a bra.
She discussed her vision with her husband, who became a Thirdlove co-founder. They spent times when they were not at their corporate jobs researching the market, developing a business plan, and doing surveys. They eventually quit their corporate jobs to concentrate on ThirdLove. Zak’s self-funding business tip is that people should save even before getting the right business idea because their savings gave ThirdLove a head start.
They used savings to sustain the business for six months before raising money for the budding business. Many male investors shied away, for they did not understand the need for better bras. The saving sustained ThirdLove until it received funding for the Seed Series round after many pitches and rejections.