2021 was a record year in dollar-value dealmaking for female founders. According to Pitchbook, US startups founded solely by women received 83% more venture funding in 2021 than in 2020, with female founders receiving nearly $6.4 billion. The number of public listings by companies with a female founder or co-founder more than doubled in 2021, while acquisition activity was strong too.
There are plenty of reasons to celebrate these records achieved by women.
However, when you dig a little deeper into the figures, female representation remains abysmally low.
- All-female founder exits account for just .8% of total exit value in 2021.
- The percentage of venture capital dollars given to female founders decreased in 2021 to just 2%.
- In our industry, female attorney attrition is still a significant issue.
In this newsletter, we want to share some inspiration and ideas for female founders. It is our deep hope that 2022 will be a groundbreaking year for women in business.
Tips for Female Founders in 2022
Female Founders: Be Courageous in 2022
Taking the leap to become an entrepreneur is terrifying. And it is incredible to see more women taking the leap and starting businesses!
Here’s what we say to women wondering if they should take the leap (based on lessons we’ve learned along the way):
- Rewrite your narrative. If you’re thinking “I’m not an entrepreneur,” change to “Even though I’ve never done this before I’ve been learning new things every day since I was born.”
- You’re going to make mistakes. Instead of letting the fear of failure hold you back, realize that every mistake is a lesson that will make you better.
- Lean on your strengths, outsource the rest. If you’re a big picture person, delegate the details to someone else. There’s no shame in doubling down on what you’re good at while teaming up with others.
- Perfection paralyzes entrepreneurism. Yes, have the end result that you deliver to customers be perfect. But when building your business, be willing to accept “great” or even “good.”
- Don’t assume. Always make data-driven decisions.
- If you need a plan B for peace of mind, fine. But once you have it, go all-in on plan A. I knew I could always go back to practicing law, but I still committed 100% to founding CGL LLP, including investing my own money.
- Don’t waste all your time planning. At some point, you need to pull the trigger. It’s the only way to make progress.
Finally, whenever you’re afraid, remember that companies with a female founder outperformed all-male founding teams by 63% in the 10 Year Project.
Focus on Your Strengths!
Outsource anything you’re not passionate about, not great at, or not an expert in as early as possible. It’s crucial that you focus on your key strengths if you want to grow your business. It’s also important that you bring in outside perspectives and expertise – diversity is powerful, after all!
Don’t Be Afraid to Fail
Failure isn’t something to fear – it’s something to welcome.
We failed countless times. At one point in our very early stages, we feared we might have to shut CGL’s doors for good.
But we’ve learned, adapted, and grown following each failure. And, ultimately, we’ve learned that the more we fail, the more we understand it’s just part of the process. It’s something to expect, welcome, challenge, and overcome.
Wherever You’re At – You’re Inspiring Someone
The more women the world sees doing incredible things – whether that’s starting a law firm or business, working in tech, becoming a billionaire, being an athlete, rising to equity partner or being promoted to the board – the better.
But remember, wherever you are on your journey, you are inspiring. And your best is more than enough.
The materials available at this website are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Use of and access to this website or any of the e-mail links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship between CGL and the user or browser. The opinions expressed at or through this site are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the firm or any individual attorney.