April 5, 2018
FIRST THOUGHT: Invest and Execute
This year, I casually decided to follow through. Let me explain. I don’t know about you, but I love to take on new DIY projects, filling my shopping basket with new décor. There’s a definite rush when I get a fresh decorating idea. There’s also stress when I don’t invest enough time to actually finish said idea. For instance, I have a curtain rod and curtains that are on their three-month anniversary of living bundled up in my closet. Before I plunk down more hard-earned money on something that’ll be old news, I’ve got to remember that, like any success-minded company, my financial and time investments have to be developed.
WOMEN IN NUMBERS: 66 Percent
When it comes to accountability, it helps to have someone keeping you on track. But in the world of venture capital, women are having a hard time finding partners who see their potential. When exploring the tremendous gender gap in VC funding in the U.S., Harvard Business Review found that venture capitalists more often ask male entrepreneurs about potential gains and achievements, while 66 percent of the queries posed to women entrepreneurs focus on potential losses and failures.
WOMAN TO WATCH: Yvonne Campos, President of Next Act Fund
Can you guess what might help flip the script in the funding world? More women in investment positions! Yvonne Campos couldn’t agree more, and she’s employing her know-how to get more women involved in the angel-investing community.
Yvonne is the president of Pittsburgh-based Next Act Fund, which helps women grow their personal wealth by investing in early stage women-owned and -led companies, with the goal of positively impacting women on both sides of the investing sphere.
One way women can help grow companies owned and headed by other like-minded women is by sidestepping the traditional boys’ club venture-capital firms in favor of an angel-investing opportunity. With an organizational goal of growing a $5 million regional investment fund focused on women-run companies, and amassing 100 or more members, Next Act Fund and Yvonne hope to give women a seat at the all-important economic-development table.
Being a part of a company that’s member-managed has its perks. For instance, a $50,000 investment enables members to vote on each deal, meaning members have great sway on the companies Next Act Fund invests in. So far, Yvonne’s business wisdom, along with Next Act Fund members’ valuable insight, has led the organization, which launched in 2016, to make two key investments, one in a software-development company and more recently, a fair-trade cocoa company.
The investment world is not entirely uncomplicated. But Yvonne leads the organization with zeal and expertise. Prior to heading Next Act Fund, she founded Campos Inc., a full-service strategy and research company she launched more than three decades ago. Many have recognized the firm as a premier source for focus-group moderation, facilitation and consultation. It’s such prowess that has led Yvonne’s colleagues and clients to call her “one of the sharpest and most innovative business professionals,” also noting you should “ignore her advice at your own peril!”
Yvonne is entirely committed to women in the business world. In addition to leading Next Act Fund, she’s also the founder of two Steel City chapters of the Women Presidents’ Organization, a nonprofit that works to improve business conditions for female entrepreneurs.
With that kind of perseverance and allegiance to women-owned and -led businesses, we’re sure Yvonne and her Next Act Fund angels will only continue to be excellent role models in ensuring more women invest in women.
QUITE THE QUOTE
Today’s quote from suffragist Susan B. Anthony is prominently displayed on the Next Act Fund website and still rings true today:
“Oh, if I could but live another century and see the fruition of all the work for women! There is so much yet to be done.”
This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.