FAQ

A Radical Redesign: Every element of SheEO's model is designed with intention

The Application

 

Just 10 simple questions, that’s all. No jargon, no pitch decks, no attachments.

Too often application processes ask WAY more questions than they really need to. That means that some great entrepreneurs opt out of applying because they just don’t have the time to fill in a long form. That’s why we just ask 10 questions to efficiently get to the heart of what we need to know to make a decision.

We’ve also designed the application so you don’t waste time on buzzwords, catch-phrases and emotionless bio cutting and pasting. (That stuff never gets selected.) Instead, we’re looking for your humanity to shine through. Tell us about your vision, your passion, and why you/why now.

Just the act of applying gives applicants access to hundreds of connected and radically generous women who can help them succeed. All applicants, regardless of the outcome, get honest, personalized feedback, whether that takes the form of comments from Activator voters, or expressions of interest in helping, investing in, or advising.

Voting

 

Great decisions aren’t about processing the most information or doing the deepest dive, they’re about the ability to quickly identify the factors that matter most. Given that women make over 80% of the buying decisions, rather than rely on a handful of “experts”, we rely on the intuition of 500 women to know what they want and what the world needs.

The Activators who vote think about things like:

  • Would I recommend this product or service?
  • Is this Venture working on the World’s To-Do List (we’re talking about the UN Sustainable Development Goals)  through their product or service or in how they do business?
  • Does this have export potential?
Dividing the Loan

 

At SheEO we create very special Venture retreat where the selected entrepreneurs meet each other, spend the weekend together developing relationships which culminates in them dividing up the capital from Activator’s radically generous contributions.

Ventures decide as a group how the available capital will be divided. There are only two rules:

  1. They can’t give all the money to one venture. That kind of winner-takes-all, betting-on-the-next-unicorn mentality is risky and inefficient.
  2. The money can’t be divided evenly. Ventures are at different stages and not everyone requires the same amount of capital. And, we know that negotiation is a critical skill for entrepreneurs so we create a safe space for ventures to build skills and become invested in each other’s businesses. They begin to look at things through the lens of what is best for all and as a group decide what is the highest and best impact that the capital can have, both for themselves and for their cohort.
The Retreat

 

With a traditional VC funding model, the first thing a startup does once they’ve received funding is try to figure out how to grow fast enough and accomplish enough in order to get even more money at the next raise. The race is on and the clock is ticking.

At SheEO, the first thing a successful Ventures does is attend a retreat with the other members in her cohort. They arrive not knowing each other but soon start exchanging their stories, sharing their biggest worries, and opening their businesses to each other for support and help. Facilitated by world-class coaches and in the spirit of radical generosity, Ventures share resources, give advice, and listen deeply.

We know that being an entrepreneur is a hard and lonely road. By creating a safe space to share and with the support of coaches and each other, Ventures leave the retreat with a foundation that sets them up for long-term success – both personally and in their business.

Coaching

 

Despite coaches being game-changers for many entrepreneurs, most women don’t engage a coach. Often it’s because we put ourselves last.

Our SheEO Development Guides (coaches) are women with deep experience. Unlike most coaching programs that are designed by-men-for-men and only focus on the business, our coaches, who have also been entrepreneurs themselves, understand all the competing priorities and complexities in your lives. They are experts when it comes to knowing how to help you figure out ways to integrate your various worlds. They don’t just “get” that things like childcare, eldercare or self-confidence issues might get in the way, they’d be surprised if they didn’t.

Ventures meet with coaches twice a month during their first year for help with things like identifying and focusing on what is most critical, developing business strategy, and guidance in blending emotional and cultural elements so you can better understand and develop your team, thinking talents, and communication style.

Community

 

Imagine having hundreds of smart, generous and connected women on your team who are ready and able to give you the help you need, when you need it.

Through the online community, SheEO Ventures are encouraged to ask for anything – that’s right, anything – they need help with, when they need it. Ventures get what they need when Activators, based on their passions, their interest in helping the particular Venture, and their time commitments, respond.

From the pool of those who respond, Ventures pick who they want to have help. This helps Ventures learn to trust their gut and discern what feels right for them. Unlike many advisors and experts who think they know the answer and share what worked for them – which may or may not work for the person they’re talking to – we believe that there is often no “right”  answer, no “right way” of doing something. We each have our own path to follow.

Access the Network

 

Most programs select expert advisors to work with ventures. These “experts” almost always have a singular focus – a “growth at all cost” playbook, based on strategies from winners in the past, and a belief that there is a single, set path to success. At SheEO we know that getting to a new world is not necessarily going to happen by following what has worked in the recent past. We’ve designed things differently: we’re committed to strong social and financial returns and pioneering new business models and mindsets. An old-thinking, cookie-cutter approach isn’t for us.

Instead, we give Ventures access to a large and rich network of diverse and passionate supporters and have them navigate their own path. As Ventures reach out and women in the network respond, Ventures select who is the best fit for them. Through this self-serve approach Ventures find and create a team of advisors, mentors and supporters who are perfectly suited for them.

Buying Power

 

When Activators vote for the Ventures whose products or services we care about, we’re also more likely to support that Venture with our wallets, becoming customers and spreading the word to others in our circle. Ventures not only enjoy instant customers, they get the huge value add of word-of-mouth marketing. This affinity-loop is showing signs of being an extremely powerful input that hasn’t been leveraged in most ecosystems.

Given that women make 80% of the purchasing decisions, imagine the power of this on a global scale as women vote with their hearts and their wallets about the kinds of companies they want to see in the world.

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Women’s Capital

 

We are on the brink of the largest intergenerational wealth transfer in history. In the United States alone, $30 trillion will pass from baby boomers to their heirs – 75% of whom are women – over the next 30 to 40 years.

If these women decide to direct even some of that capital into supporting the enterprises that are committed to building a better world, they will have the power to literally shift world economies.

SheEO is creating a long-term strategy to build new pathways for allocating capital, one that results in the best possible outcomes for all, transcending the current winner-takes-all mindset.

women have all they need to shift the entire system on their own terms.

Building Confidence

 

The current system makes things overly complicated and builds up false barriers around the process of picking winners. Too often women who want to invest are scared off, feeling like they don’t know enough or don’t have what it takes to pick a company poised for success simply because of the jargon and complex selection criteria that is built into the system. It doesn’t have to be this way.

Given that women currently make 80% of the purchasing decisions, we are already investing in companies every day. 

SheEO leverages women’s intuition while building our collective confidence. Through the voting process, as Activators go online and read through applications, we find themselves getting excited about the Ventures and the problems they are solving. Activator’s ask themselves if this Venture’s innovation is working on the World’s To-Do List? Does it create sustainable jobs? Does it create a better future? Then we vote for what we care about.

It’s very simple but remarkably powerful. Just by going through the experience of voting, seeing the Venture we vote for win, and shedding the mystique around investing, helps us all realize we have so much to give and we know what we are doing.

Built to Scale

 

We use centralized technology in our backend so Ventures and Activators have the tools they need to self-organize, find one another, ask for help and connections, and achieve pretty much anything else they need to in order to achieve their goals.

Payback Loop

 

Ventures receive a 0% interest loan that is paid back over a total of five years, in 20 equal payments. A Venture’s ability to meet this schedule serves as a kind of early warning system should they run into headwinds. If a payment is missed, we’re there with our sleeves rolled up, ready to help.

It also means that 20% of the loan is paid back each year and can be put to work supporting an additional Venture each year. This creates a perpetual fund with capital that is in constant flow.

500 Women

 

We’ve created a whole new model that makes it extremely easy to get your product or service out in the world and scaled quickly. There are 500 radically generous women in countries around the world who are there for you as customers, promoters, and local advisors. They are a distributed and highly connected network and they are your go-to-market strategy.

We’ve designed it this way to accelerate the impact of social innovations by getting them to the market faster. Less than 5% of women-led ventures export. This distributed network is a HUGE economic opportunity that up until now has been underleveraged due to the systemic bias against women-led ventures. By leveraging these 500 women on the ground in countries everywhere, we leapfrog that bias and accelerate getting amazing social innovations out into the world as fast as possible.

It’s an amazing way to change the world using the passion and buying power of women.

Follow the Energy

 

Our entire model has grown organically, led by the inbound energy or our growing community. We follow the energy, going to those communities who reach out to us and that are ready to bring together 500 women. Our approach is self-organized, locally led and locally organized.  It’s all volunteer-based. If you keep emailing us, telling us you want to be IN, then we’ll follow your energy and show up.

New Behaviour = New Language

 

If you want to create new behaviour, you have to use new language. At SheEO you’re an “Activator”, not an “Investor”. Rather than investing your capital then focusing on getting the highest financial return, it’s about activating your expertise, your buying power, and your networks to challenge the current model, all the while making a positive impact on the world in the process. We are all part of a team.

In today’s world, the word “Business” has come to mean maximizing profits at any cost, even at the expense of the planet and the people who live on it. Instead, we are structure agnostic, preferring the term “Venture” because we are most interested in impact, be that social, environmental or otherwise.

Self-Organization

 

We are laser-focused on creating a new, distributed, global network that is self-sufficient locally and leverages technology to amplify impact. Activators and Ventures in our network self-organize events and co-create our model in real-time. We do not have staff on the ground in each country. It’s an entirely volunteer-driven community committed to building our muscle of radical generosity to strengthen communities.

Activators FAQ

What is an Activator?

“Activators” are women  (or a team of women ) who contribute $1,100 in CAN, US, NZ and AU, and £850 in the UK, annually and join our global community of radically generous women. As an Activator you can activate (use) your capital, your networks, your buying power and your expertise to support female entrepreneurs who are benefitting humanity. As Activators support Ventures in this rich ecosystem, they also support one another – creating a virtuous cycle of Radical Generosity that will lead to a radically new economy.

What am I committing to as an Activator?

We welcome all levels of participation and consider this to be a community that you join on your own terms. We understand that life can get busy and so we invite you to engage in a way that works for you. If you want to contribute your capital and come to one event, great. If you want to be highly engaged, host a salon or breakfast, and help grow the movement, that works too! Your participation in #radicalgenerosity is on your own terms. No guilt!

What are some ways I can engage with the SheEO model as an Activator?

Activator engagement opportunities: 

  • Selection of Ventures in two rounds of voting
  • Access to Community, SheEO’s online portal to share expertise, ask for help and engage with Ventures and Activators – this is your space to self-organize in the community.
  • Many Activators self-organize within the network to create business opportunities, share resources, or create sub-groups in specific interest-areas.
  • Attend the  Summit and Cocktail in your region where we announce the selected Ventures each year.
  • Support Ventures through their Asks in Community  
  • You will have access to annual updates to see how the Ventures are doing.
How do I pay by cheque?

Please email the SheEO team at <hi@sheeo.world> if you’d like to pay by cheque and we will provide next steps.

How do you activate as a group?

If $1100 in CAN, US, NZ and AU, and £850 in the UK, represents a barrier for you, you are welcome to Activate with another person or with a group. For each group, we invite you to choose one representative who will receive SheEO email communications, be added to the online community, receive the link to vote for the Ventures, and receive the invitation to attend our SheEO Summit & Cocktail. How you choose to divide up the $1100 in CAN, US, NZ and AU, and £850 in the UK, payment and roles is completely up to you. We’ve seen groups in the past who have gathered to review the Venture applications and vote collectively (a group Activation = one vote), two Activators who have shared an account on our online community (you have to list your profile under one name), etc.  When you have the $1100 in CAN, US, NZ and AU, and £850 in the UK in place, that representative can sign up to activate here!

Can you be sponsored into the network?

Yes! Thanks to the radical generosity of our Activators, we have several gifted Activator spots available. These positions are designed to enable women from underrepresented backgrounds to participate in SheEO. In this model, an Activator covers 80% of the Activator payment, and the woman who receives the gifted Activator spot, contributes the remaining 20%. With this 20% contribution, the woman can participate in the full Activator experience: online community, voting for the Ventures, Activator events, SheEO Summit & Cocktail.

 

If you or someone you know is interested in being considered for one of these gifted opportunities for 2019, please complete this interest form!

Does SheEO do corporate matching?

We have decided not to implement corporate matching of Activator contributions in 2019 as the process is cumbersome and highly manual. We are focused on scalability and given the small number of matches we have had in previous years, along with our belief in abundance, we have decided to focus on one contribution per person using our payment system. Thank you for understanding.

Do I need to commit $1100 in CAN, US, NZ and AU, and £850 in the UK, each year?

Once you contribute $1100 in CAN, US, NZ and AU, and £850 in the UK, as an Activator, you are IN for that year and are able to participate in voting to select the SheEO Ventures and the online community. To vote for and support the next round of Ventures, we kindly invite you to re-activate. Both past and present Activators are welcome to attend in-person and virtual SheEO events such as Activator Meet-ups, SheEO Simulcasts and the Global Summit.  Contributing each year allows us to fund more women-led Ventures who are working on the World’s To Do List. If your circumstances permit, we’d love for this to be an annual gift.

If Activators contribute each year for five years (because Ventures pay back the money over five years), then we will have created a perpetual fund, one that will be handed down to our daughters and granddaughters.

Why $1100 in CAN, US, NZ and AU, and £850 in the UK? That is a lot of money and may exclude people in our communities.

Our goal is to reach 1 million women who collectively create a $1B perpetual fund as soon as possible. Initially we experimented with $5,000 but determined it was too high of a starting point. We considered making it a much lower number but that created too many people in a community in each cohort. We also call this Radical Generosity, not simply, ‘generosity’. We know it’s a stretch. Some women have collaborated and divided up the $1100 in CAN, US, NZ and AU, and £850 in the UK, contribution amongst a few people (see ‘How do you Activate as a group?’), and we’ve this year added a Monthly Contribution option. After much experimentation and consultation we opted for $1100 in CAN, US, NZ and AU, and £850 in the UK, because we felt this amount was both feasible for many and scalable to achieve our goal. Once we reach our $1B fund we will likely find many other ways for many more people to be engaged. We view this as our version 1.0 design.

Activator Timeline and Important Dates

Australian Activator Timelines  

 

Please note: This year we are shifting our SheEO New Zealand timeline to better align with the southern hemisphere and NZ holiday schedule. Starting next year, NZ Venture Applications will be open on 1 May 2020.

 

 

How do I select Ventures through your radically redesigned process?

You will receive a link to our online voting portal where you can view the Venture applications and select the companies that you are passionate about.  We ask Activators to select Ventures based on the following criteria:

  • Would you buy or refer this product or service?
  • Does the entrepreneur have what it takes to lead this company?
  • Do you think this business will benefit humanity (is it working on one or more of the sustainable development goals in how they run their business or in their product and service)?
  • Is the business exporting to other countries or have export potential?
What kind of Ventures do you support?

SheEO Ventures are revenue-generating with export potential and are working on the World’s To-Do List through their business model or their product and service. They are women-owned and women-led and creating new models, new mindsets, and new solutions that benefit humanity.  Currently, our Ventures are from all sectors from retail to artificial intelligence, and our Founders range in age from 22-70+ years old.

What are the terms of the loan provided to the Ventures?

The 0%-interest loan has a five-year term for each Venture. Ventures pay back their loans in 20 equal installments over a five year period. We track Venture milestones and success annually and report those results out to the community.  As the funds are paid back, the money gets reinvested into the fund and loaned out again to new Ventures.

Can I track how my money is helping SheEO Ventures?

Yes! We have designed a holistic SheEO Venture Health Check reporting system which is filled out on an annual basis by our entrepreneurs and provides a snapshot of each company’s performance so that you can see how the Ventures are doing.

 

We track metrics such as impact, mindset shifts, connections made, contribution to business success, revenue increases, markets accessed, jobs created, radical generosity indices, events delivered, people reached, and stories of positive impact.

How will you ensure that the SheEO Venture cohorts are held accountable?

We have developed a personalized Guided Development Program in which Ventures participate. They have 2 coaching calls each month and regular check-in with Activators and the SheEO team. All entrepreneurs will propose a ‘use of funds’ as part of the fund distribution process during our SheEO Venture Program roll-out. Each Venture will determine milestones and reporting structure as part of this process. As an Activator, you will receive annual updates on Venture performance. We believe in creating the conditions for the Ventures to thrive in our community. Most of our Ventures become Activators themselves, paying forward the radical generosity they received. With thousands of women watching their execution and contributing to their success, this entire program is designed to create the conditions for Ventures to be accountable.

What if I’m not an Activator? How can I stay in touch?

Sign up for our monthly impact updates where we share resources, Venture updates, and other tips for emerging entrepreneurs and business leaders. Follow us on social media. We often host events and meet-ups in conjunction with other organizations which we post on our public Events page!

Can I pay by monthly contributions?

Yes! New this year, we have added an option to Activate with Monthly-Contributions. Your card will be charged on the same day each month. You will receive all the benefits of being an Activator from the moment you make your first month’s payment!

Can I auto-renew my Activator contribution?

Yes! Also new this year, we have added an Annual Auto-Renewal Activation option. With this, you pay $1,100 in CAN, US, NZ and AU, and £850 in the UK, on the spot for this year’s Activation, and then will be charged on the same day, each year following.

Can I be both an Activator AND apply as a Venture?

Yes! We’ve had Activators apply as Ventures and Ventures join as Activators. You can absolutely be part of the community in both capacities and at the same time.

Many Activators and Ventures have found mentors, new clients, business partners and lifelong friends through the community.

As you may know, the Activators’ contributions are then pooled together and then loaned out in the form of 0%-interest loans to women-led Ventures whom the Activators help select.

Ventures FAQ

What is the eligibility criteria for Ventures?

Our criteria is simple.

  • Are you going to exceed $50K in revenue in Canada, the USA, and Australia, and £40K in the United Kingdom, by the time you apply?
  • Are you majority women-owned (51%+)?
  • Are you majority women-led? For SheEO, this means that the senior leadership role (i.e. CEO/President) is held by a woman.
  • Are you able to answer the question of how your Venture is working on one or more of the Sustainable Development Goals?
  • Do you operate in Canada, the US, New Zealand, Australia or the UK?
Why must Ventures have at least $50K in CAN, USA and AU, and £40K in the UK in revenue?

Over 90% of our economies are made up of small and medium-sized businesses that are starved of capital because they aren’t considered unicorn (grow to $1B in value) potential in the traditional venture capital system. We want to start with those businesses that already have early traction and lots of potential. Early success in any new model is critical. We wanted to show that there are thousands of women-led  businesses out there that can generate revenue, hire locally, export globally, pay back their loans and strengthen our economy.

What about early stage Ventures who don’t have at least $50K in CAN, USA and AU, and £40K in the UK, in revenue?

We know there is a massive market of women entrepreneurs who need support. Solving this challenge is a massive undertaking and like any transformative approach, you have to pick a place to start that has the maximum potential impact with the highest chance of success. We experimented with pre-revenue companies but the failure rate was too high. We decided to start with ventures who had a product-market fit and some revenue and were on a path to be able to pay back approximately $100,000 loan. The question was where to start: what model has the biggest chance of success in the shortest period of time so we can then iterate, expand and grow its impact? When we get to 1M women supporting 10,000 entrepreneurs with a $1B perpetual fund, we believe that we can then expand this model to create a number of different approaches with less capital, more capital, larger and smaller contributions that engage women to invest in the kinds of companies that will change the world.

 

If you’re an early stage company seeking additional resources, you can check out Learning Lab here — our online series providing webinars and resources. If you’re a new entrepreneur, check out the RadGen Certificate Program here  – 7 online modules that will help you to better understand your unique entrepreneurial talents, negotiating styles, unique change-making opportunity, and more —  including how to create support for your work and ask for help.

What kinds of Ventures do you support?

SheEO Ventures are revenue-generating with export potential and create a better world through their business model or their product and service. They are women-owned and women-led and create new models, new mindsets, and new solutions that benefit humanity. SheEO ventures create significant positive impact across all sectors; wellness, AI, education, food sustainability, waste reduction, energy efficiency, inclusion, and biotech innovation. Currently, our Founders range in age from 22-70+ years old. We are agnostic about age or sector or structure. If you are a not-for profit or charity that generates revenue and can pay back a loan over 5 years, then you can apply.

Tell me about the application form.

We know from consultation and studies that female entrepreneurs often don’t apply for funding and investment because the process is cumbersome, filled with jargon and women are proven to receive far less funding than their male counterparts. We have radically redesigned the application process to simplify it and make it accessible to everyone. No jargon. No attachments. No pitch decks. We have a dozen questions in an online form that can be filled out in under 30 mins.

What are the terms of the loan provided to the Ventures?

The 0%-interest loan has a five-year term for each Venture. Ventures pay back their loans in 20 equal installments over a five year period. We track Venture milestones and success annually and report those results out to the community.  As the funds are paid back, the money gets reinvested into the fund and loaned out again to new Ventures.

What if my Venture is not selected? Does SheEO provide any support?

Simply applying to SheEO’s Radical Generosity Initiative is an act of marketing your business to hundreds of womxn. Activators are encouraged to provide comments and feedback to everyone who applies to SheEO’s Radical Generosity Initiative, so you will likely receive feedback on your application and offers of support from individual Activators even if you don’t move onto the Semi-Finalist round.

What happens if I’m selected as one of SheEO’s Semi-Finalist Ventures?

We will announce SheEO’s Semi-Finalist Ventures on our website, social media and mailing list. You will be asked to submit a 1-minute video and detailed financials in the next round of the application process. All Semi-Finalist Ventures will be invited to attend the SheEO Summit and Cocktail in your region, and will be invited into our online community where you can access SheEO’s network of radically generous Activators.

What happens if I’m selected as one of SheEO’s Ventures?

First of all – congratulations! When you are selected as a SheEO Venture in your region, we’ll provide you with detailed next steps. But, here are the highlights:

  • Attend the SheEO Venture Retreat to meet your fellow Ventures and your SheEO Development Guides, divide up the loan, and start your journey as a SheEO Venture.
  • Attend and be celebrated at the SheEO Summit and Cocktail.
  • Participate in personalized guided development calls with the SheEO Development Guides twice a month.
  • Join the SheEO online community to connect with all Activators in the network.
  • Share impact stories and business growth in your quarterly Venture Health Checks, and be able to access real-time data-driven visuals on your Venture
  • Be available for media interviews, speaking opportunities and special events as part of your leadership role.
Who decides how the collective fund is distributed?

Each SheEO cohort will use peer-based decision making to decide how the money will be distributed amongst themselves, with only two rules: 1) you can’t give it all to one company, and 2) you can’t divide the funds evenly. Our SheEO Development Guides will be in the room to facilitate the process and will ensure the experience goes well for all participating Ventures.

How will the success of the selected Ventures be measured?

SheEO uses surveys and Venture Health Checks to track impact, mindset shifts, connections made, contribution to business success, revenue increases, markets accessed, jobs created, and stories of positive impact.

How will you ensure that the SheEO Venture cohorts are held accountable?

We have developed a personalized Guided Development Program in which Ventures participate. Ventures also have two coaching calls each month and regular check-ins with Activators and the SheEO team. All entrepreneurs will propose a ‘use of funds’ as part of the fund distribution process during our SheEO Venture Program roll-out. Each Venture will determine milestones and reporting structure as part of this process and will participate in completing a quarterly Venture Health Check. The highlights of this check-in will then be shared with Activators.  We believe in creating the conditions for the Ventures to thrive in our community. Most of our Venture recipients become Activators themselves paying forward the radical generosity they received. With hundreds of womxn watching their execution and contributing to their success, this entire program is designed to create the conditions for Ventures to be accountable.

Are your Ventures available for media requests or speaking opportunities?

Yes! We love sharing our Ventures’ stories. Please email us at hi@sheeo.world with your request.

Can I be both an Activator AND apply as a Venture?

Yes! We’ve had Activators apply as Ventures and Ventures join as Activators. You can absolutely be part of the community in both capacities and at the same time.

Many Activators and Ventures have found mentors, new clients, business partners and lifelong friends through the community.

As you may know, the Activators’ contributions are then pooled together and then loaned out in the form of 0%-interest loans to women-led Ventures whom the Activators help select.

Entrepreneur Ecosystem

Why do we need SheEO?

In short, women need a radically redesigned model of support and funding. One that is designed specifically to tackle the kind of challenges women entrepreneurs face; women are chronically under-financed, under-supported and under-celebrated in the business world. Check out this post by Founder Vicki Saunders for a more in depth look.

What is the current state of the innovation ecosystem for women?

In 2015, two-thirds of businesses in Canada were started by women. Sixty-eight per cent had no outside capital and 73 per cent are already profitable. And they could grow, if they had support. But these businesses have been dramatically underfinanced, undersupported and undercelebrated for decades.

New data have emerged showing that if female entrepreneurs were financed to the same degree as their male counterparts, we’d create six million jobs in North America in the next five years. This is a huge economic engine we haven’t even tried to engage.

Click here for Vicki’s op-ed diving deeper into these staggering metrics.

What resources are available to early stage entrepreneurs who may not be ready for SheEO funding?

From our perspective, this is a decades-long initiative to change systems and culture. The question was where to start: what model has the biggest chance of success in the shortest period of time so we can then iterate, expand and grow its impact? When we get to 1M women supporting 10,000 entrepreneurs with a $1B perpetual fund, we believe that we can then expand this model to create a number of different approaches with less capital, more capital, larger and smaller contributions that engage women to invest in the kinds of companies that will change the world.

If you’re an early stage company seeking additional resources, you can check out our Resources section here.

General FAQ

What about diversity?

At SheEO we are committed to building a highly diverse global community of radically generous women, all ages, races and cultures.  Our goal is to build a new economy. We believe that there is a lack of diversity in our current system. women were not at the table to design the current model. We need to be at the table to create a new model. We also need racial, cultural and intellectual diversity. It is our intention to build a highly diverse community. In our pilot, 500 women selected the companies they were most excited about. As it turns out, the selected Ventures were not only diverse in sector (food, hygiene, tech, education, consumer packaging), they were also founded by diverse leaders.

How does the SheEO model work?

The SheEO model brings together 500 women  (called Activators) in each cohort, who contribute $1100 in CAN, US, NZ and AU, and £850 in the UK each, as an Act of Radical Generosity. The money is pooled together and loaned out at 0%-interest to five women-led Ventures selected by the Activators. All Ventures are revenue generating with export potential and are working on the World’s To-Do List through their business model or their product and service. The loans are paid back into the fund over five years and then loaned out again, creating a perpetual fund which we will pass on to our daughters and granddaughters, and nieces. Our goal is to reach 1 million Activators, supporting 10,000 women-led Ventures globally with a $1B perpetual fund.

 

Activators are contributing more than their capital. As an Activator you can also activate your network, expertise, resources and buying power as early customers. You are also involved in selecting the Ventures directly through a radically redesigned online selection process. Activators select the Semi-Finalist  Ventures from their region in Round 1 of voting, and then select the Ventures to be funded, in Round 2.

 

The selected Ventures gather at a retreat with the SheEO Guided Development Program Leads and divide the collective fund amongst themselves using a peer-based decision-making process based on two rules: 1) you can’t give it all to one Venture (no winner-takes-all), and 2) you can’t divide it up evenly.

How is SheEO funded?

Your contribution of $1100 in CAN, US, NZ and AU, and £850 in the UK, includes a 10% sustainability fee which helps support SheEO’s annual operations.  The balance of our operational costs are covered by sponsorship and philanthropy from organizations and individuals who are aligned with our mission. Our goal is to be a self-sustaining program.

What is your business structure?

SheEO Canada Fund is a federally incorporated not-for-profit in Canada, governed by a Board of Directors.

Every new region we rollout to will have an Advisory Board consisting of a SheEO Canada Fund Board member and local representation.  Please see below for how we are structured in each country:

  • In the US, the Fund is managed through Philanthropic Ventures Foundation (PVF), on behalf of SheEO. PVF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, EIN number 94-3136771.
  • In Australia, SheEO has a local bank account with CBA, opened up under the umbrella of SheEO Canada Fund.
  • In New Zealand, SheEO has a local bank account with Westpac, opened up under the umbrella of SheEO Canada Fund.
  • For the UK, SheEO has partnered with HSBC to open a non-resident account, under the umbrella of SheEO Canada Fund.

The intention behind the Fund is to build a multi-generational perpetual fund that passes on to our daughters, nieces and granddaughters. With that outcome, we will build a succession plan for governance so that this money exists in perpetuity.

If at some point in the future we feel as a community that this fund is no longer needed or needs to wind down we will find an organization with similar mission to partner with through an agreed upon process by the SheEO Board of Directors.  In our incorporation documents, instructions to the Board read as follows:  Any property remaining on liquidation of the Corporation, after discharge of liabilities, shall be distributed to one or more qualified donees within the meaning of subsection 248(1) of the Income Tax Act.

How is SheEO governed?

SheEO has a Board of Directors who meet quarterly and all financial statements are audited annually.

What is #radicalgenerosity?

Your entry into our network starts with an act of #radicalgenerosity; a $1100 contribution in CAN, US, NZ and AU, and £850 in the UK, with no expectation of return, on behalf of someone you don’t yet know. Your contribution is a gift that will keep on

#radicalgenerosity is also a  practice and a behaviour we are developing at SheEO. We imagine that the potential of our Ventures and of all of us, would be far greater if we were surrounded by radically generous people. We would dream bigger, we would treat ourselves more kindly and we would be happier.  In our community, we ask, what is the radically generous response to our Ventures’ needs? What kind of world would we create if we were radically generous with each other? Would we dream bigger? Would we be kinder to ourselves?

Radical Generosity is a values statement, it is a behaviour and it is a practice which we believe will create radically different results and a better world.

Why is SheEO only open to women?

There is emerging data that indicates women investors better understand women-led Ventures, and that women-led Ventures funded by women perform better. While we recognize that women and men will need to work together in order to change the landscape, we know this is going to take time. Our starting point is women-only. We believe that building a supportive community of women engaging with their capital is the missing link that the world needs in order to catalyze significant change. We aim to launch thousands of concrete, compelling and inspiring examples of women helping women around the world to remind us all that we have all we need to redesign, redefine and recreate this world.

How can men get involved?

Men who wish to contribute capital can gift an Activator spot (see “Can you be sponsored into the network?” in the Activator FAQ above)  to a daughter, wife, entrepreneur or colleague to be part of this community and encourage female entrepreneurs in their network to apply.