Last week I had the pleasure of meeting Lauren Flanagan, General Partner and Founding member of BELLE Capital. BELLE is an acronym for Bold Enterprises Leveraging Leadership and Experience. With a focus on growth companies led by women, Lauren is seeking investors for the new Michigan-based fund. Lauren shared, “Companies seeking our capital must have at least one female founder or C-level exec, and/or be willing to recruit top female talent to the C-suite and Board of Directors. We prefer teams with strong domain expertise, and proven commercialization and entrepreneurial experience.” The premise for creating this fund is based on solid research as outlined here from their Mission:
Women-led or owned companies are the fastest growing sector of new company creation and women now own nearly half of all privately held US businesses. Studies by the Kauffman Foundation have shown that venture-backed companies led by a woman typically produce higher revenues and launch on a third less capital than their male compatriots. Despite a record of greater capital efficiency and a lower failure rate than companies run by all men, women-led companies receive less than 10% of venture capital invested, and substantially less angel capital as well.
Research at the University of Michigan and at other universities supports our experienced-based belief that diverse leadership teams comprised of women and men produce superior results. Women entrepreneurs have told us that if they have a choice, they would prefer to have women investors and additional top female talent on their boards of directors and advisory councils.
It is refreshing and warming to my soul to know that BELLE Capital General Partners, Lauren Flanagan and Carolyn Cassin, are providing this opportunity for investors to invest in women led companies and for qualified women-led companies to receive badly needed investment resources. Here is their press release: BELLE Capital to Launch Michigan Fund for Start-ups with Women in Charge.
And you can learn more at BELLE Capital LP an early stage fund.