Women-led businesses are nearly twice as prevalent in earlier funding rounds than in later rounds – almost 12 percent at accelerator and incubator stages, dropping to 8 percent at seed stage. By early-stage VC funding, women represent only 4 percent of investments. Do women find it harder to ask for money or is unconscious bias seeping in? Once women entrepreneurs have mustered the courage to put themselves through a ‘shark tank’-like experience in front of the VC, the numbers are not always encouraging. Women who pitch their venture successfully get less than half the average investment that men receive and the valuations for women-led businesses are far lower than that of men-led ones. To build their businesses with smart capital, women have to work much harder than men.
Last summer, Y Combinator (YC), the original start-up accelerator that has invested in more than 2,000 fledgling firms with a combined value of US$150 billion, sent acceptance emails to 11,000 of 15,000 applicants to its Startup School instead of the estimated 4,000 originally intended. Rather than jettisoning the surplus applicants, the company that nurtured the likes of Airbnb, Dropbox, Reddit and Quora decided to keep everyone on board. This year, YC will likewise accept all applicants to Startup School, a 10-week, free-of-charge massive open online course (MOOC), supplemented with virtual office hours and access to 15,000 founders worldwide. An unannounced number of those who complete the programme will be given a US$15,000 grant. As YC President Geoff Ralston, an INSEAD alumnus, told in a recent interview, “It's part of our goal to maximise the amount of entrepreneurship and innovation there is in the world.”
This article looks at how institutionalisation can aid family companies in Latin America survive and thrive long into the future.For this purpose, INSEAD surveyed 131 family firms and interviewed private equity experts.The study analyses the survey results, explores partnership opportunities between family firms and private equity investors, and examines areas of best practice that support sustainable value creation. It is vital that family firms enact policies and procedures that protect their competitive advantage, foster long-term growth, as well as bolster their mission and values.This research series includes individual case studies that can help family firms understand their own strengths and weaknesses, and learn from their peers. It constitutes a useful benchmark for all family firms in Latin America.