Strategy

Meet the new network investing in female-led businesses

Lucia Osborne-Crowley /

Australian businesswomen will now be better connected and supported than ever before, thanks to a new partnership between Scale Investors and new startup CloudPeeps.

Scale Investors are an Australian-based, female-focused network that aims to boost women’s businesses through investment. The group was founded on the notion that investing in women-led businesses is one of the best ways to support gender equality as well as the Australian economy. By connecting women investors with women entrepreneurs, Scale aims to improve overall female participation and success in the business world.

Scale CEO Laura McKenzie told Women’s Agenda that because investment is still a heavily male-dominated industry in Australia, it is particularly important for women investors to support women entrepreneurs such as CloudPeeps CEO Kate Kendall.

“Ten years ago, only 4% of businesses receiving venture funding were founded by women. Today, that number is 15-16%. The number of women investors has increased from 8% to 20% in that time, and we believe there is a strong correlation between the two,” she said.

Scale’s newest investment, CloudPeeps, will help to improve connectivity between professionals in the business community. It creates a way for businesses and entrepreneurs to bring in freelance community building and social media experts. The experts – or ‘peeps’ – are vetted by the network, meaning businesses and entrepreneurs do not have to spend time and resources on finding reliable, flexible employees to help them reach their audience.

One of Scale’s Lead Angels Renata Cooper said CloudPeeps will be an important tool for women moving into an increasingly digitalised work environment.

“As Frost & Sullivan recently noted, by 2020, there will be over 5 billion internet users living a connected life deeply embedded into our daily activities. CloudPeeps is riding this transformative wave by helping brands of all sizes build conversations and create meaningful connections in the community,” she said.

By creating this new and improved network for female entrepreneurs, CloudPeeps hopes to optimise the success of women in business and sustain that success as the business world changes.

The importance of investing in women entrepreneurs was highlighted by the recently published Diana Report: “There is an enormous untapped investment opportunity for venture capitalists smart enough to look at the number and fund women entrepreneurs. Only a small portion of early-stage investment is going to women entrepreneurs, yet our data suggests that venture capital-funded businesses with women on the executive team perform better on multiple dimensions. The venture capital community, therefore, may be missing good investment opportunities by not investing in women entrepreneurs,” said the report’s lead author Candida Brush.

McKenzie also said it is important to recognise the economic value of investing in women entrepreneurs.

“We know that it makes good economic sense to invest in diverse teams. There is so much data out there that shows us that businesses with women on their executive teams perform better in so many different dimensions of business.”

This story originally appeared on Women’s Agenda.

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