SheEO is a Canadian-based organization that supports and celebrates women by financing female-led ventures. SheEO is led by Vicki Saunders, an entrepreneur who was recently named one of the 100 Most Influential Global Leaders Empowering Women Worldwide in 2015 by Empowering a Billion Women. Vicki has co-founded and run four businesses in Europe, Toronto, and Silicon Valley with the goal of finding a pathway to a better world.
The members of SheEO feel that women have the chance to create new mindsets that will transform how we define success, how we do business, and how we can impact the world in a healthier way. According to Harvard Business Review, women are starting new businesses at twice the pace of men and control about $20 trillion in annual consumer spending. Women are able to make decisions about what kind of world they want and where they want to put their money.
SheEO has launched a campaign called “An Act of Radical Generosity” and they are looking for one thousand women to contribute $1,000 each, for a total of $1 million crowdfunded. Ten female-led ventures will collectively decide how to split the $1 million and will receive one year of world-class coaching from startup experts. The goal is to get one million women to gift $1,000 each by 2020 to raise $1 billion dollars in capital.
Madeleine Shaw, SheEO member and co-founder of Lunapads, a world leader in natural menstrual health products, is an advocate of this collaborative approach to venture development. “We have a longstanding practice of peer mentorship among our social entrepreneur colleagues.” She advises young women to “trust the authority of your, and your peers,’ experience. It will lead us into the future.”
Lisa Mattam, founder of the company Sahajan, an Ayurvedic-inspired organic skincare company, encourages female entrepreneurs to “constantly nurture their learning.” She feels that her business will only succeed if she is growing and seeing what is changing in the world. SheEO allows its members to do just that by providing a supportive environment that allows women to prosper. It all starts with women being radically generous with each other.
Contributor: Judy McDevitt