Entrepreneurs and Venture Capital

Chair, Monica Smiley, Editor and Publisher of Enterprising Women

  • At nearly 13 million women-owned businesses in 2018, the share of women-owned businesses grew from 29% in 2007 to 40% in 2018. Women-owned firms account for 39% of all privately held firms and contribute 8% of employment and 4.2% of revenues. (NAWBO)
  • 64% of newly created women-owned businesses are started by women of color (NAWBO)
  • 8% of women-owned businesses have revenues of $10 million or more (Forbes)
  • Female founders received only 2% of venture capital dollars in 2017 (Pitchbook)
  • The average deal size for a woman-led company in 2017 was just over $5 million, vs. $12 million for man-led companies (Pitchbook)
  • Female-led start-ups constituted 6.6% of deals in 2017 (368 compared to 5,588 for all-male teams); Females constitute 11% of partners in venture capital firms


  • Female owners of businesses generating more than $10 million a year in revenues to create boards and populate them with leaders who bring skills and expertise most needed to achieve critical path strategic priorities
  • Female owners of businesses generating less than $10 million a year to create advisory boards consisting of individuals with skillsets and networks most conducive to supporting growth
  • Celebrate and tell the stories of VC firms that are advancing access to capital by women owned businesses
WBC asks:

Could the number of women-owned firms with revenues above $10 million grow by 20% in five years?

Could the percentage of venture capital available to women founders double in five years?

Could the number of women partners in venture capital firms grow to 15% in five years?