Looking for funding for your female travel start up?

Looking for funding for your female travel start up?

According to the World Bank, in 70% of the world, women owned small business have inadequate or no access to finance. Female entrepreneurship is on the rise, in travel as in many other sectors, yet there is still a huge disparity in the ability of female entrepreneurs to secure investment and attract investors, when compared to their male counterparts.

Global advisory firm PwC explains that this is because in the traditional venture capitalist arena very few decision makers are women, only about 7%. Men at the helm of these companies are therefore more likely to invest in men-driven venture.

A survey published back in June by AllBright found that 22% of female founders are not being heard by male investors, while just 2.19% of all global venture money went to female-led businesses in 2016.

Recent research by 99designs, Diversity VC and Harvard Business Review has all come to the same conclusion; there is a major funding gap for women in business.

But funding is essential to start up and that is why in 2017 Women in Travel has decided to focus its World Travel Market panel debate on this topic.

Of all financing avenues, crowdfunding, again according to PwC, seems to be the most successful for women entrepreneurs (22% female rate of success, 17% male rates of success says the firm). Crowdfunding covers seed-funding/equity funding/peer to peer landing and donor based landing. Due to it being more extensively based on communication, story-telling and engagement, it tends to suit women greatly over and above men.

Women in Travel’s panel guests who speak on 7th November are all established entrepreneurs who have accessed funding, including seed and equity crowdfunding. They will be joined on stage by representatives from Seedrs and Barclays and together they will share their expertise and knowledge around accessing funds.

Here are some of their ‘taster-tips’ to start you out:

  • ‘If you can prove a track record in the [travel/tourism] industry you will find it easier to access finance.”
  • ‘Make sure you have a sound business model and know how you will spend the money invested and what the return will be.’
  • ‘When starting a venture, having really great people around you makes it easier to tap into investment’
  • ‘Crowdfunding is time consuming and all absorbing for the few weeks in which it takes place. You must know this in advance!’

More knowledge and precious advice will be shared on the day: don’t miss this practical, insightful and extremely valuable session for women and men entrepreneurs alike!

For more information please check the WTM London website.

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Alessandra is founder of social enterprise Women in Travel CIC which she launched in January 2017 to provide communities in key regions (for example UK, Middle East, Africa and Latin America) with a sustainable livelihood by enabling women to become economically independent through entrepreneurship and a thriving career in the travel and tourism industry. Alessandra is also Chief Mentor & Consultant at Everyday Mentor, where she provides mentoring, coaching and consulting services to a range of clients in the commercial and public sector. Alessandra also collaborates with a number of Universities, including Hertfordshire, Normandy and Surrey. Alessandra is passionate about gender in tourism and has written and spoken extensively on the subject over the last 12 years, including at the United Nations World Tourism Day. She is well known as co-founder of Shine People and Places – a boutique outfit dedicate to supporting women in the workplace - and The Shine Awards for Women Achievements in Travel Tourism Hospitality and Events, which she ran between 2004 and 2010 before Sector Skills Council People 1st took them over. Prior to Shine Alessandra worked at KPMG, where she built the Travel & Tourism division, and the World Travel and Tourism Council. Alessandra has an executive MBA from the University of Ediburgh/Grande Ecole Pons combined; she is a qualified coach/mentor for performance in the workplace and she is a member of several industry bodies including AWTE and the UK Tourism Society.

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