Posted: 9th October 2019
I had the good fortune of being in London last week which coincided with a presentation from SheEO founder Vicki Saunders for the launch of SheEO in the UK.
SheEO is designed to turn funding for women led ventures, working on “The Worlds To Do List” – ie business’s working on projects which align with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. It takes the traditional funding models of venture capital and turns it on it’s head – putting 500 “Activators” (who put in funds) together to vote for and support “Ventures” (who are supported with 5 year interest free loans). Their aim is for the funds to end up as perpetual and to date they’ve had 4000 Activators across 5 countries support 53 amazing Ventures.
I’d been looking for a while at ways I could help support business’s which are working on improving the planet and so this aligned beautifully with what I was hoping to achieve. The scheme is open until November 1st for Venture applications and for Activators to get involved (in the UK activation is £850 one time or £71 per month). I can’t wait to what amazing Ventures we get to vote on in this first round in the UK – Are you in?
WHAT IS SheEO?
SheEO is a radically redesigned ecosystem that supports, finances, and celebrates female innovators.
Launched in 2015 in Canada, this visionary model is emerging as a leading global innovation that is totally unique. Rather than trying to fit women into the existing models and systems and level the playing field, we are creating an entirely new field.
SheEO pushes the reset button on how to support women on their own terms. We focus on bringing out the best of women by being radically generous to one another. It’s an entirely new values set designed with a feminist lens.
The model brings together 500 women (called Activators) in each year’s cohort, who contribute $1100 in CAN, US, NZ and AU, and £850 in the UK, each as an Act of Radical Generosity. The money is pooled together and loaned out at zero percent interest to five women-led Ventures selected by the Activators. All Ventures are revenue generating with export potential and are creating a better world through their business model or their product and service. The loans are paid back over five years and then loaned out again, creating a perpetual fund which we will pass on to our daughters, nieces and granddaughters. The 500 women Activators in each cohort become the de-facto ‘team’ of the five selected Ventures bringing their buying power as early customers, their expertise and advice and their vast networks to help grow the businesses.
We’ve had thousands of revenue-generating, export-ready, women-led Ventures apply. Everyone who applies receives personal feedback on their application and at least one Activator offering support to grow their venture.
We see this disruptive model as a pathway to redistribute capital, identify and scale social innovations, bring women into community together to embolden our collective leadership, and a new economic and social model for sustainable communities.
With a Guided Development program (biweekly coaching) added in, the Ventures are deeply supported to accelerate their success in an environment of radical generosity, designed by women for women.
Activators are corporate executives, successful entrepreneurs, emerging women leaders, students, mothers, grandmothers, daughters ranging in age from 14 – 94. Our diversity of age, stage, culture and experience makes SheEO a highly coveted and unique community.