AusBizMedia Q&A WITH FEMALE ENTREPRENEUR AND CEO, TRENA BLAIR

TRENA BLAIR IS THE FOUNDER AND CEO OF FD GLOBAL CONNECTIONS, AN ADVISORY FIRM FOR AUSSIE COMPANIES LOOKING TO ENTER THE US MARKET.

She speaks about the importance of investing in female entrepreneurs and creating gender equality in the world of Venture Capital.

IN YOUR OPINION, WHY ARE FEMALE-FOUNDED BUSINESSES RECEIVING LESS VENTURE CAPITAL FUNDING IN AUSTRALIA?

Unfortunately, the lack of Venture Capital funding for female founders is not just a concern in Australia, but a global issue that impedes gender equality. Despite decades of efforts to promote female entrepreneurs and the acknowledgment that they generate higher financial returns than their male counterparts, women-led ventures made up around 3 percent of the global $107 billion raised by venture funds in 2023, according to Venture Capital Journal.

In 2022, Dr. Dana Kanze, Assistant Professor of Organizational Behaviour at London Business School, and her research team undertook two studies involving nearly 400 tech ventures led by male and female CEOs.  They explored this issue, focusing on the funding outcomes for female entrepreneurs across different industries and regions. The research shed light on the unique challenges faced by female entrepreneurs and the impact of gender biases on funding decisions made by investors, finding that female-led ventures operating in male-dominated industries are disproportionately disadvantaged when compared to their male-led counterparts.

This disadvantage presents itself through funding, as well as lower valuations and reduced equity for female founders in the industry. Research also identified the role of cognitive biases in shaping perceptions, exacerbated by a lack of diversity among investors. However, investors show less bias against female-led ventures in female-dominated industries, suggesting the importance of financial literacy in mitigating industry fit bias.

The implications of these findings are profound. They indicate a “double bind” for female entrepreneurs, who are only perceived as fit for certain industries and thus are limited in their potential growth.

Read the full AusBiz Article HERE.