Now is the time to become part of the community of SheEO ‘Activators’ who support a small number of ‘Ventures’ led by women.
SheEO is a disruptive economic funding model which sees hundreds of women contributing capital into a collective fund. The fund lends money at no interest to five female-led businesses – in an act called "radical generosity".
Businesses that would like to access the fund along with business mentoring can apply for a loan which is paid back over a five year period.
Theresa Gattung is behind the local launch of SheEO which aims to bring together 500 local female Activators who contribute $1,100 each ($1,000 invested to create a perpetual fund and $100 as a programme fee) to create a funding pool of $500,000. So far hundreds of activators have signed up and the push is on to get the final few by the end of March.
Ms Gattung says women who become Activators enjoy the benefits of being a part of, and engaging with, the wider community of Activators and ventures in SheEO’s ever expanding online community.
“Around the world, it’s always more difficult for women-led businesses to get finance or to sell into companies, so this is really about giving some women-led businesses a good start and a hand up,” she says.
Westpac New Zealand is a major supporter of SheEO. Westpac NZ’s chief executive David McLean says female-led companies are an important driver of the New Zealand economy.
“By supporting these ventures, it creates a positive financial impact not only on these companies but on the country as well,” Mr McLean says.
Ms Gattung says about a hundred entrepreneurial businesses have applied for funding, with the 10 finalists just announced. They include everything from worker safety ventures, ethical manufacturing, a business employing refugee women as cooks, to a brain fitness business.
The top five ventures, which will receive the funding, will be announced in April 2018.