We imagine a world where funding women entrepreneurs is the norm, not the exception.
Despite starting businesses at twice the rate of men, women receive 3% of venture capital and 5% of bank loans. The XXcelerate Fund supports women entrepreneurs by providing access to the debt financing that growing women-led businesses need, and the financial education, mentorship, and peer support necessary to build strong, profitable Oregon-based businesses. Our goal is threefold: more women-owned businesses that are bankable, investable, or profitable and independent.
Emma is the founder of Wildfang, an online apparel brand. After the first couple years of bootstrapping her business off the ground, Wildfang was able to establish in a successful niche of "tomboy/bad ass women" that appealed to a diverse group of customers and lead to rapid sales growth.
But success in the market didn't equal the ability to fundraise in Oregon. They applied to almost every angel group and pitch conference. But with a lack of consumer investors in these groups, everybody tried to shoe-horn her onto a path that was wrong for Wildfang. Even after raising from a seed fund, Emma continued to pitch to investors to no avail. Emma was left tired, frustrated, and without a way to access capital that was right for her business.
We imagine a different path forward for founders like Emma. Instead of wasting time, money and energy pitching to investors unaligned with her vision and her industry, future founders will apply to the XXcelerate Fund to fill the gap. She'll receive access to the right type of financing she needs, as well as mentorship and support to help accelerate her ability to access traditional debt financing or venture capital in the future.
Case study taken from Meyer Memorial Trust's 2016 Report on Oregon's Capital Ecosystem.
“Oregon cannot achieve its fullest potential to increase high-skill, high-wage jobs without extending equal opportunities to capital for women entrepreneurs. Tapping Oregonians’ creativity and grit to come together and find solutions is exactly the type of thinking we need today and every day.”
— senator ron wyden
Created by women entrepreneurs, for women entrepreneurs.
XXcelerate Fund began with a group of women entrepreneurs gathered around a kitchen table in Portland, Oregon. They faced a lack of support, education, and funding opportunities necessary to grown their businesses. They started looking into the existing structures and saw a gap (that others saw as well) in financing between traditional small business loans and venture capital. Data shows that women-led companies are more successful when they receive funding and support from other women. Forging partnerships with experienced professionals in lending and venture capital, government, and philanthropic institutions, XXcelerate represents a new way to fund growing businesses based on sustainable growth, education, personal accountability, and women's empowerment. It's capital designed to fit the needs of women and underrepresented founders.