According to recent statistics from EBAN and Forbes, women make up a minority of registered angel investors in organized networks, with less than 20% in Europe and around 33% in the US. Unfortunately, there are still cultural preconceptions and inequalities that prevent more women from becoming angel investors.
Research and press articles have identified several barriers that prevent women from investing, including less risk propensity, lack of investment experience, social and family compromises, lack of networking, and less interest in technological areas. Additionally, many women feel that they need to know everything about investing before they invest, while men are more likely to learn and invest at the same time.
However, there are also differences in investment behavior between men and women. Women are often more collaborative and open to listening to other investors' opinions. They also tend to invest in a broader range of sectors and are more likely to invest in businesses with a higher purpose, using social impact as part of their decision-making criteria. Women are also more likely to invest in other women and favour deeper due diligence with lower tolerance to investment losses.
Despite these challenges, there is an ongoing debate about whether female angels should integrate mixed angel groups or be members of exclusive female groups. Regardless, female investors reveal a sense of mission to close the entrepreneurial gender gap and invest more in female entrepreneurs.
The good news is that the number of successful female entrepreneurs and high-net-worth women is increasing, and more women are taking the lead in angel investment funds. However, to attract more women to business angels, angel groups should have a broader long-term view of their goals, increase collaboration between players, and invest with a higher purpose.
Gender equality is not only a social and ethical imperative, but it is also a strategic advantage for businesses and investors alike. Female angels can play a crucial role in reaching the next level in angel investing, and the industry needs them.
As International Women's Day approaches, it is important to celebrate the women who have ventured into becoming angel investors and lead angel funds. This article pays tribute to my colleagues who have been exceptional in their field, providing me with learning opportunities, fun experiences, and personal growth. I expresse gratitude to various female angels from the COREangels family, including Elisabete Barbosa, Karine Nascimento, Mariana Meyer Soares, Patricia Figueiredo, Alicia Lombardia, Carla Taramasco, Isabel Bravo, and Paula Valverde Norambuena, along with Cristina Fonseca, Lurdes Gramaxo, Isabel Neves, Candace Johnson, and Brigitte Bergais, who all serve as an inspiration to women who aspire to become angel investors.