FAQ

Activators FAQ

How do I pay by cheque?

Based in Australia
If you are based in Australia, cheques can be made payable to “SheEO Australia”.

Mailed to:
521 / 357 Glenmore Road
Paddington, NSW 2021
Australia

Once you have mailed your cheque, please fill out this form so that we can register you as a SheEO Activator. 

Based in Canada
If you are based in Canada, cheques can be made payable to “SheEO Fund”.

Mail to:
375 Markham Street
Toronto, ON M6G 2K8
Canada

Once you have mailed your cheque, please fill out this form so that we can register you as a SheEO Activator. 

Based in New Zealand
If you are based in New Zealand, cheques can be made payable to “SheEO Fund”.

Mail to:
3 Livingstone St.
Westmere, Auckland 1022
New Zealand

Please include a note that says “Attention – SheEO New Zealand”.

Once you have mailed your cheque, please fill out this form so that we can register you as a SheEO Activator. 

Based in the US
If you are based in the US, checks can be made payable to “Philanthropic Ventures Foundation” with SheEO referenced.

Mail to:
Philanthropic Ventures Foundation
1222 Preservation Park Way
Oakland CA, 94612
USA

Once you have mailed your check, please fill out this form so that we can register you as a SheEO Activator. 

Do I need to commit $1100 each year?

Once you contribute $1100 as an Activator, you are IN for that year and are able to participate in Venture voting and the year’s events. You will forever have access to your year’s cohort of fellow Activators through our online community, Workplace.  To vote for and support the next round of Ventures, attend the following year’s events (including the SheEO Summit & Cocktail), and gain access to the following year’s Activators around the globe (with the addition of new SheEO regions), we kindly invite you to re-activate.

Contributing each year allows us to fund additional cohorts of women-led Ventures. 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.

What is an Activator?

“Activators” are women (or a team of women) who contribute $1,100 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.

Why $1100? 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 contribution amongst a few people. After much experimentation and consultation we opted for $1100 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.

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.
  • Access to the SheEO online community 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 a one-day Summit and Cocktail in your region where we announce the Top 5 selected Ventures each year.
  • Support Ventures through their monthly asks via email and through the online community.
  • Each quarter you will be sent a Venture Health Check to see how the Ventures are doing.
How do I select Ventures through your radically redesigned process?

You will receive an email asking you if you’d like to be involved in the selection process.  You’ll then 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 a new mindset, new model or new solution 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 creating a better world 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 28-50 years old.

What are the terms of the loan provided to 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 quarterly 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 a quarterly basis by our entrepreneurs and provides you with a dashboard of company performance so that you can see how the Ventures are doing in real time.

In addition, SheEO will send out an Annual Impact Report summarizing the growth and performance of the SheEO Ventures over the past year.

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 a quarterly Venture Health Check which will update you 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 500 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 female business leaders. Follow us on social media. We often host events and meet-ups in conjunction with other organizations – if you sign up for our monthly impact update you’ll stay in the know!

Can you be sponsored into the network?

Yes! This year, thanks to the radical generosity of our Activators, we have several sponsored Activator spots available. These positions are designed to enable women from underrepresented backgrounds to participate in SheEO. In the sponsorship model, the Activator sponsor covers $880 (80% of the Activator payment), and the sponsoree contributes the remaining $220. With a $220 contribution, the sponsoree 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 sponsored opportunities for 2018, please complete this interest form!

How do you activate as a group?

If $1100 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 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 place, that representative can sign up to activate here!

Does SheEO do corporate matching?

We have decided not to implement corporate matching of Activator contributions in 2018 as the process is cumbersome and highly manual. We are focused this year 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. Thanks for understanding.

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 female 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 and those who identify as women; inclusive of LGBTQI, 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 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 creating a better world 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 Top 25 Ventures from their region in Round 1 of voting, and then the Top 5 in Round 2.

Once selected, the Top 5 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 includes a $100 sustainability fee which helps support SheEO’s annual operations. $1000 goes directly to the Ventures. 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?

The SheEO Canada Fund is a federally incorporated not-for-profit managed through SheEO.

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.

How is SheEO governed?

SheEO has a Board of Directors who meet quarterly. All financial statements are audited annually and available upon request.

What is #radicalgenerosity?

Your entry into our network starts with an act of #radicalgenerosity; a $1100 contribution, with no expectation of return, on behalf of someone you don’t yet know. Your $1100 contribution is a gift that will keep on giving as it’s paid back into the fund and loaned out again. It is not a transaction where you get your money back, it’s a pay-it-forward relationship that keeps on giving. 

#radicalgenerosity is also a  practice and a behavior 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 behavior 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 sponsor a daughter, wife, entrepreneur or colleague to be part of this community and encourage female entrepreneurs in their network to apply.

How SheEO is Different

The Application

 

Just 12 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 12 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 500 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?
  • Does this Venture seek to create a better world 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 500 smart, generous and connected women on your team who are ready and able to give you the help you need, when you need it.

Every month SheEO Ventures can ask for anything – that’s right, anything – they need help with. These monthly #Asks go out to the community and within 24 hours, 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.

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 would create a better world? 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.

RadGen FAQ

What is SheEO?

Women start businesses at roughly the same rate as men but too often along the way, something goes awry. Sometimes it has to do with funding. Companies founded by women are four-times less likely to receive venture funding than men. Sometimes it has to do with family commitments – the current model makes it hard for women to care for their business and their children or elders. And sometimes it’s about not having a mentor or role model.

SheEO’s was founded to address these gender and social imbalances. We support, fund and promote female entrepreneurs in a unique way. At SheEO, it’s not just about leveling the playing field, it’s about creating an entirely different playing field where women entrepreneurs of all stripes can flourish.

How does RadGen support young women?

As early as the age of six, girls start to think of themselves as less smart than boys. Research shows they avoid STEM fields because of the stereotype that these fields are for boys. Unfortunately, these early beliefs follow them into the workforce.

At SheEO, we know it doesn’t have to be this way. By introducing young women to women entrepreneurs, by celebrating women’s innovation on their terms, and by helping young women develop confidence in who they are, rather than in who they think they’re supposed to be, we think we can open up opportunities to young women, help them see entrepreneurship as a viable career option, and, in so doing, help them change the world.

What is RadGen?

RadGen helps female high-school students across Ontario gain confidence in themselves and develop an entrepreneurial mindset.

We do that through conferences, webinars, one-on-one mentoring sessions and in-person meetings with peers throughout the school year. The end goal is to see girls believe in themselves, dream big, and develop the skills, connections and knowledge to succeed as an entrepreneur or a woman in business.

How do I start RadGen at my school?

It’s easy! Just gather a group of at least five girls, get a teacher advisor, and let us know when you’re ready to get going. We’ll help you from there. And don’t forget to check with your school to see if they have any requirements for starting an extracurricular group.

Who can participate in RadGen?

Anyone who is a female/non-binary student in Grades 10,11 and 12 is welcome to get involved. RadGen is not exclusive to students in business classes or streams.

Why is participation in RadGen open only to female and non-binary teens?

SheEO is about creating a safe space for girls and non-binary individuals to thrive, on their terms. We’ve looked at the research, given it a lot of thought, and while we may revisit this down the road, at this point in time, we believe that limiting participation in RadGen to female and non-binary teens is the best way to do that effectively.

In a practical sense, what does participation in RadGen look like for students?

It starts in the fall. That’s when we’ll give you access to tons of resources and invite you to join us on a welcome call where you can learn more about the program and ask questions.  

Next comes a one day kick-off event where students, educators and mentors get together. Students get to talk to women entrepreneurs, hear their stories, and get an up-close look at what it takes to develop an entrepreneurial mindset. These entrepreneurs represent all women including women. They are women of colour, Francophone, Indigenous and more.

Throughout the school year, there are ongoing bi-monthly meetings that provide opportunities to learn, discover, and grow. There will be learning modules, webinars and lots of opportunities to work with mentors.

RadGen largely follows SheEO’s existing programming. Students evaluate Venture applications, vote for Ventures, and support Venture finalists.  

If our school can’t attend the event in Toronto, can we still be part of RadGen?

Absolutely!

If I sign up now, do I need to sign up again in the fall?

No need. Sign up now and we’ll take care of getting back in touch with you in the fall to confirm things and make sure you have the most up-to-date information you need.

Who are SheEO mentors?

SheEO mentors are volunteers from a network of successful female business leaders, executives, and entrepreneurs across Ontario. Mentors represent a variety of intersectional identities, including women of colour, and Francophone and Indigenous women.

How will mentors be partnered with students?

Mentors meet and are partnered with students at the fall kick-off event.

What is the role of a mentor?

Mentors guide students in learning about entrepreneurship. They help students reinforce what they’re learning by providing real-world examples, provide insights based on their own experience, and support students as they explore entrepreneurship.

What will the mentor-student relationship look like?

After the fall kick-off event, subsequent communication between students and mentors is virtual. Mentors and students schedule at least two other virtual meetings throughout the year, using a video conference platform to connect.

How are school staff involved in RadGen?

Staff participation is voluntary and minimal. Staff act as advisors to students and also provide supervision at the fall kick-off event and during regular meetings.

What is the time commitment of staff?

Staff commitment includes time to attend the fall kick-off event as well as time to participate in extracurricular meetings one or two times a month during the school year. These meetings are approximately 45 to 60 minutes long, and take place at lunch or after school. The meetings, however, are student led, and therefore require no individual prep time for teachers.

Does the teacher/staff advisor need to be female?

Good question. SheEO is committed to creating a safe space for women and non-binary individuals to thrive on their own terms. One piece of that approach is reserving participation in RadGen for female and non-binary people only.

Are RadGen activities and resources available in French and English?

All RadGen program resources are available in both French and English. Francophone students will have the option of being partnered with Francophone mentors. The fall kick-off event will be bilingual through a combination of English and French speakers and simultaneous translation.  

What is an Activator?

Activators are women (or a team of women) who contribute capital to support female entrepreneurs and join our global community of radically generous women. Activators can activate their networks, their buying power and their expertise to support female entrepreneurs who are benefitting humanity. As Activators support Ventures in this rich ecosystem, they also support one another. This creates a cycle of Radical Generosity that will lead to a radically new, and better, economic model.

What is a Venture?

A Venture is a majority women-owned, women-led, revenue-generating business. They are revenue generating and have export potential. SheEO Ventures are focused on creating a better world.

Ventures FAQ

What is the eligibility criteria for Ventures?

Our criteria is simple.

  • Are you going to exceed $50K in revenue by the time you apply?
  • Are you majority women-owned (51%+)?
  • Are you majority women-led?
  • Are you able to answer the question of how your Venture is creating a new model, new mindset, or new solution to better humanity?
  • Do you operate in the US, Canada, New Zealand or Australia?
Why must Ventures have at least $50K 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, pay back their loans and strengthen our economy.

What about early stage Ventures with limited resources?

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.

What kinds of Ventures do you support?

SheEO Ventures are revenue-generating with export potential and are creating a better world through their business model or their product and service. They are women-owned and women-led and are creating new models, new mindsets, and new solutions that benefit humanity. Currently, our Ventures are from all sectors from retail to artificial intelligence to renewable energy, and our Founders range in age from 22-70+ years old.

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 quarterly 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 women. Activators are encouraged to provide comments and feedback to everyone who applies to SheEO’s #radicalgenerosity program, so you will likely receive at least some feedback on your application. We also have a detailed Venture resources section on our blog with a crowd-sourced list of resources for entrepreneurs of all stages that you should definitely check out!

What happens if I’m selected as one of the Top 25 SheEO Ventures?

We will announce the Top 25 SheEO Ventures on our website, social media and mailing list. You will be asked to submit a 1-minute video and financial summary in the next round of the application process. For those Top 25 Ventures not voted into the Top 5, you will still 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 community of radically generous Activators.

What happens if I’m selected as one of the Top 5 SheEO Ventures?

First of all – congratulations! When you are selected as a  Top 5 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 & 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.
  • 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 (5 selected Ventures) 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 to track 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. Ventures also 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 and will participate in completing a quarterly Venture Health Check. The highlights of this check-in will then be shared with the Activator community.  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 500 women 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.