Let’s celebrate! Research shows nearly 100,000 women are now angel investors

By Loretta McCarthy, Managing Partner, Golden Seeds

September 19, 2019

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Throughout Golden Seeds’ lifetime of investing in women-led companies, an amazing thing has happened in angel investing — more women than ever before are now involved as active investors.

In 2004, women accounted for just 5% of the 225,000 angel investors in the United States. Last year, that number increased to 30% (of the 335,000 angel investors). This means there are now nearly 100,000 women angel investors — that’s nine times more women as angel investors than 15 years ago when Golden Seeds began its journey, according to research from Jeff Sohl at the University of New Hampshire’s Center for Venture Research.

At Golden Seeds, we’ve observed this trend impressively inch upward and have been vocal advocates for more women to become involved in angel investing along the way. But we couldn’t have predicted this impressive growth 15 years ago. To put it simply: we are delighted to see so many women actively investing as angels.

Why we’re experiencing this upward (and exciting) trend

Today — and at long last — there are many women who have had successful careers across a variety of industries where they honed critical skills, earned capital and established professional networks — typically elements of effective angel investors. In fact, these women possess these skills more than any generation of women to come before them. And this trend is continuing as more and more women develop the capacity to do this work.

Since 2005, nearly 800 angel investors have been a part of the Golden Seeds angel network, 80% of whom are women. As has always been the case with angel investors, these women have jumped in to evaluate companies, utilizing their vast professional networks, industry expertise and financial resources to support companies, and serve as board members and advisors.

Golden Seeds was an early and persistent voice in calling attention to the opportunity for women to become angel investors and — equally as important — for all angel investors to consider investing in women entrepreneurs. Women have often done this great work alongside other women, but let’s not forget the 250 angel investment organizations in the U.S., many of whom have attracted women members at unprecedented rates. All such groups can use their talents and companies can benefit from the additional capital.

Many ways for women to participate

Women can decide how they want to participate (as active investors or passive). As for those who prefer a more passive route, they can invest in funds, including the Golden Seeds Venture Fund.

In addition to Golden Seeds, there are other funds/angel groups that particularly focus on women investors and/or women entrepreneurs, including Artemis FundAstiaBelle MichiganChloe CapitalFemale Founders FundInvestHerNext WavePipelinePlum AlleyPortfoliaRethink ImpactSophia FundSpringboardThe JumpFund, True Wealth VenturesWomen’s Venture Capital Fund1843 Capital, and 37 Angels.

And there are more. They are all doing their part in closing the substantial capital gap faced by women-led companies.

It’s no surprise (or coincidence) that during this same time, from 2005 to 2019, women entrepreneurs have also received a substantial uptick in angel funding. Back in 2004, women-led companies made up 3% of the 48,000 companies funded by angels. In 2018, women-led companies were 20% of the 66,000 funded companies.

Golden Seeds is made up of women and men who invest exclusively in women-led companies. Women are remarkable entrepreneurs and investing in gender-diversity is increasingly recognized as a wise investment strategy.

This movement has been exciting and successful and it’s still growing. There’s room for many more players still. We welcome women (and men) to jump in and join us in this exciting field of innovation, growth and gratification.