Yesterday we had the most incredible experience: surrounded by 500 smart, inspiring, radically generous women, we were announced as a 2017 SheEO Venture, alongside ANANDA Devices, Higher Ed Points, Discourse Media, AVA Technologies, Project SucSeed, and Made with Local.
For those of you who don’t know, SheEO is a radically feminist business model, born right here in Canada, offering a new model to fund, support, and celebrate women-led ventures through Acts of Radical Generosity. Of all the amazing recognitions we’ve received over the past two years, this has truly been one of the most inspiring experiences … and we’re only a few days in! We are so honoured to be a part of this group, who we have every confidence will change the world.
So … who are these ventures?
Discourse Media asks us to reconsider what media would look like if it was built for people and not only for advertisers. And they’re currently offering the opportunity for all Canadians to become owners in the next generation of journalism!
AVA Technologies unlocks the green thumb in anyone designed to connect Canadians with their food, and replace screen time with green time!
ANANDA Devices brings drug testing to the 21st century. By applying nano- and micro-technology platforms to biomedical research and diagnostics, they are making drug discovery faster and more cost-effective.
Made with Local creates delicious, healthy, snacking options using local ingredients and employing production partners facing barriers to traditional employment. We’re so excited for them to bring their model to Ontario with their upcoming Whole Foods launch, and then to BC!
Higher Ed Points enables anyone to convert loyalty points into funds for tuition and student loan repayments. It bridges the gap between academic scholarships and needs-based financial aid to democratize access to higher education for all students.
Project SucSeed is addressing food security in Newfoundland & Labrador and across Northern Canada with hydroponic units that help communities grow their own high-quality food. At the same time, it employs at-risk youth to improve the standard of living of the communities it serves.
We are also joining an incredible alumni group of 2015 and 2016 SheEO Ventures: Heartbeat Ai, Satya Organic Eczema Relief, SheNative, SleepBelt, The Alinker, Abeego, Lunapads, Magnusmode, Skipper Otto’s and Twenty One Toys.
We believe so much in each and every one of these ventures. Do yourself a favour and check them out!
Back up, what is SheEO?
“This isn’t about training women to succeed in a male-dominated system, this is about completely flipping the table and building our own culture that can support these businesses” – Erin Millar, Discourse Media.
SheEO is radically transforming how we finance, support, and celebrate women-led ventures that are creating a better world. While women-led companies are starting-up, growing, hiring, selling, and thriving like never before, only 4% of venture capital goes to women entrepreneurs. This leads to missed opportunities not only for women-led ventures, but for the economy as a whole.
SheEO offers a new model, centered on ‘Acts of Radical Generosity.’ Each year, 500 women (‘Activators’) each contribute $1,100 to this model, creating a pool of $500,000. This pool of capital is loaned out to a group of Ventures over a five-year term. As the loans are repaid, they are loaned out again to create a perpetual fund. With two years having already paid back $200,000 of their loans, the pool this year was $700,000 – funding seven new Ventures. You can learn more about their incredible model, right here.
SheEO has a goal to reach 1 million Activators, who would create a $1 Billion perpetual fund.
And what’s all this talk about Radical Generosity?
One of our biggest learning points in the past few days, however, was that SheEO does not just give a pool of capital. It is fundamentally built on Acts of Radical Generosity. What does this mean? SheEO is flipping the nature of business relationships from competition and scarcity and fear to collaboration and abundance and generosity. We have been given the freedom to be radically open about our businesses, our needs, and the problems that we face. And each time we opened up, we were gifted with support, expertise, and encouragement.
Even more powerful, this relationship was not only unidirectional between Activators and Ventures, but supported all in the room. Throughout the SheEO Summit, we saw Activators supporting Ventures, Ventures supporting Activators, Ventures supporting Ventures, and Activators supporting Activators. In the past three days, we have solved problems that have been on our minds for months, gained clarity and insight on our strategic direction, and have made connections that we know we will hold for years. This is what it looks like to practice Radical Generosity.
This has been one of the most powerful experiences we have had in a long time. If this resonates with any of you, please reach out and we would love to connect you with how to join this Radically Generous community.