Scale Investors tackles "investment gender gap" with educational platform for female founders

Scale Investors tackles "investment gender gap" with educational platform for female founders

Scale Investors co-CEO Chelsea Newell, independent director Catherine Robson and co-CEO Samar McHeileh (Provided)

A Melbourne-based angel investor network dedicated to uplifting female entrepreneurs has launched a new online platform known as EducatEd to help women gain access to capital.

Founded in 2013, Scale Investors has curated three online courses with the help of Sand & Sky co-founder Sarah Hamilton, UrbanYou co-founder Noga Edelstein and Tractor Ventures co-founder and COO Jodie Imam, which address how to thrive in the world of capital raising. 

According to the Female Founder Funding Report, Australian companies with at least one female founder secured $5.8 billion in funding over FY2018-2021, representing 23.7 per cent of all startup funding.  

However, companies solely founded by women only accounted for 4 per cent.

“Our vision is to create a world where gender does not limit access to capital and we believe that education is a key driver in closing the investment gender gap,” Scale Investors co-CEO Samar McHeileh said.

“That’s why we created EducatEd. We want to educate more female founders about how to raise capital and create a safe and inclusive learning space which provides all women-led businesses with the tools to access support and capital.”

The platform received $800,000 from the Federal Government via the Women’s Leadership and Development Program Grant and includes programmes such as:

  • FoundEd, a free 5-day introductory webinar education series for female founders combined live sessions was delivered by experienced investors and founders, access to bite-sized online education content and the opportunity to network with trail-blazing women entrepreneurs.
  • EmpowerEd, a 10-week program, targeting female founders, that combines online learning, small cohort sessions, mentorship, and personalised support. This course is specifically designed to decode the world of capital raising, this program will allow founders to put key learnings from the FoundEd series into the context of their own startup with an incredible group of women-founders by their side.
  • InvestEd - a self-paced, Angel Investing 101 online program that targets new early-stage investors and explores the significant risks and rewards of angel investing in startups. The program has been carefully curated by Australian angel Investors such as Tractor Ventures co-founders Matt and Aprill Allen, Lighter Capital CEO Melissa Widner and Flying Fox partner Kylie Frazer.

"I was fortunate to be one of 350 women who took the FoundEd course in February,” East Forged co-founder Kym Cooper said.

“I was looking for more guidance on the strategic thinking behind the capital raising process and the program appealed because it allowed investors to share their unique insights and perspectives.

“In particular, Gabrielle Munzer from Main Sequence Ventures, introduced ‘The Slamdunk Financing Model.’ It really helped, as it provided a framework for me to think more strategically about fundraising.”


Related Story: Lack of capital still handicaps women-led small businesses


Other women involved in EducatEd’s development include founding partners from venture capital firms such as Folklore, the Foundry, Startmate, SBE Australia, Artesian, Squarepeg and Sakalta.

The Female Founder Funding Report also determined solely female-founded companies "raised significantly less per round" compared to their male counterparts. On average, Series A rounds were 66.68 per cent smaller and seed rounds were 63.3 per cent smaller.

“As someone with a corporate background, I really wanted to help and financially support female-led businesses but had little idea about angel investing or how the process works,” said Scale Investor Kate Forbes.

“After undertaking the InvestEd course, I now understand what’s involved and I feel more confident in my role as an investor.

“The course is easy to follow and as the modules are all online, it can be done in your own time. You have the support of a great team at Scale who do their due diligence on potential companies for you and other Scale investors to support.”

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