Women in Venture: Changing the Face of Early-Stage Funders

Funding is a challenge for all early-stage companies. But, it is especially difficult for female founders.

Men receive 9x more financing for their companies than women, according to the National Women’s Business Council’s Access to Capital by High Growth Women-Owned Businesses report.

Canada has taken a strong leadership role in championing the next generation of women founders, yet statistics like the one above highlight that access to capital remains a major barrier for women interested in launching and scaling successful businesses.

Angel investors and venture capitalists play a critical role in driving change for the next generation of entrepreneurs, and for Canada. They are the most significant source of risk capital for startup and early-stage businesses across the country, bringing not only finance (combined 2017 investment of $901.6M), but vital business experience and expertise that enable businesses to achieve their high growth potential.

Yet the proportion of female founders to the total number of female investors remains extremely low. Without representation on both sides of the table – among both entrepreneurs and early-stage funders – we won't see real change.


women in venture


women in venture


In partnership with Female Funders, we’re happy to be releasing the Women in Venture  report at Startupfest 2018. This report represents the beginning of a project that we’ve undertaken to understand one important piece of the puzzle: who is on the other side of the table?


“Throughout my work at both Female Funders and Highline BETA, I often find myself on panels or in private conversations where I am given the opportunity to champion women investors in our ecosystem.

Until now, when asked about the gender makeup of investors in Canada, I and my colleagues in venture have been forced to rely on data that is outdated, incomplete, or US-centric.

If Canada’s venture ecosystem is going to drive change, first we need to know where we stand.”

Lauren_RobinsonLauren Robinson

Executive Director, Female Funders
General Partner, Highline BETA


We agree with Lauren. If Canada’s early-stage ecosystem is going to drive change for all entrepreneurs, we first need to know where we stand so we can develop strategies to help them grow.


women in venture


This report is just the first step within a larger project that we’ve taken on with Female Funders. We know that the data collected for this report is incomplete but we need the community’s help to make it robust.

If you’re an active early-stage investor in Canada then please send us your contact information so you can participate in the next Women in Venture report.





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