As we celebrate International Women’s Day 2020, we reflected on our joint
blog post from 2018
which honored women entrepreneurs who are reshaping education. We have a flood of gratitude for what these visionary women do to create positive change for millions in global education—and we’ve since added new honorees in our portfolio. We remain inspired by these women who are forging the way as leaders in learning and education.
As you know, we kicked off this new decade by spinning out of Omidyar Network and launching Imaginable Futures—a global philanthropic investment firm dedicated to the future of learning—where we support and partner with amazing women founders, funders and other kinds of changemakers. These women are not only impacting the lives of millions of other women, children and families, but they are also leading the way within venture capital and philanthropy. In 2018, we were excited to report that 40% of our portfolio was founded or led by women. Today, we are proud to report that our current portfolio is now more than 50% founded or led by incredible women entrepreneurs.
Today, we are proud to report that our current portfolio is now more than 50% founded or led by incredible women entrepreneurs.
The next decade is poised to bring more funding and support to female founders. There will be more women investors thanks to efforts like All Raise. More women became Venture Capital partners in 2019 in the United States than ever before, and those women will increasingly be driving capital allocation decisions toward women entrepreneurs. There will also be increasing elevation of women leadership. We are inspired by the first-ever fellowship of all women leaders dedicated to improving the lives women and girls globally from our partners at The Aspen Institute. We also anticipate increasing support for women founders. In this regard, we have seen and participated in efforts for impact investing, such as the partnership between ECMC Foundation and Chloe Capital to invest in women focused on the Future of Work. Additionally, in philanthropy we are inspired by working groups of female grant-makers to problem-solve and better support women-led grant funding.
However, the gender gap is still wide and there remains plenty of room for improvement. Sixty-five percent of venture firms in the United States still do not have a female partner. In emerging markets, female-led startups raise only about $1 of seed funding for every $9 raised by all-male teams. In 2019, venture capital investment in all-female founding teams hit an all-time high of $3.3 billion—but that represents just 2.8% of capital invested across US startups. It’s up from past years but still falls short of what it could and should be. While we’re glad to see forward progress, we call on venture capitalists, impact investors and philanthropy to recommit to building on this momentum and invest and support more women founders. We know we will continue to do so at Imaginable Futures not just for women, but across a diverse set of under-represented founders in pursuit of a greater representative, inclusive and just society.
Today, we honor our own Imaginable Futures portfolio and the incredible women who have persevered to be part of the solutions—not just to benefit learners and their families and communities around the world, but to inspire future women changemakers to make a difference and imagine a better future.