‘It’s going to get worse before it gets better’

Women-owned ventures now make up 42% of all businesses in the U.S., generating $1.9 trillion in annual revenue, according to the most recent annual State of Women-Owned Businesses report.

But many female founders still have a tough time raising the venture capital they need to get their new businesses off the ground. Just last month, Pitchfork reported that companies founded solely by women still represented just 2.7% of the money put into America’s venture-backed startups.

The novel coronavirus — which as of Saturday morning had been diagnosed in 1.2 million people worldwide and over 312,000 people in the U.S. — could complicate fundraising even more for female entrepreneurs.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – FEBRUARY 08: Designer Rebecca Minkoff poses during the Rebecca Minkoff presentation during NYFW: The Shows at Spring Studios on February 08, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Yuchen Liao/Getty Images for NYFW: The Shows)

“I think it’s going to get worse before it gets better,” designer Rebecca Minkoff told Yahoo Finance’s “On The Move” last week, while discussing Project Entrepreneur’s Investment Readiness Program, a collaboration between UBS and the Female Founder Collective.

The coronavirus has left many families caring for children at home and trying to work at the same time, as schools and daycares are shut down and nannies for small children need to stay isolated in their own homes.

“Especially right now, with women struggling, founders struggling across the nation, women are being hit the hardest. Also as caregivers, it’s increasingly getting more difficult to run your business if you still can and care for those at home,” Minkoff noted.

To support female founders in the U.S. who face these challenges, especially amid a national pandemic, Project Entrepreneur’s Investment Readiness Program offers a three-month course on fundraising skills for startups that have at least one female founder and are 50% female owned.

“We’ve really pivoted the programming to help women get support they need now. How do they stay in business? How do they reach new audiences in this time?” Minkoff said.

Later in the interview, she added, “We think in this new iteration, they’ll be really suited to go out and fundraise if that’s what they’re going to go do.”

Pamela Mitchell is a producer at Yahoo Finance.

Read more:

‘Chasing ghosts’: Why it’s so hard to stop robocalls

Why the Under Armour brand is in crisis

Follow Yahoo Finance on TwitterFacebookInstagramFlipboardSmartNewsLinkedIn, YouTube, and reddit.

Source Article