I’m learning to be InvestorEspecially to invest with a gender lens». Alicia Basnati it is Business woman 30 years ago with fiA commercial refrigeration firm COP Refrigerated Systems And it is one of many women who were encouraged to invest Projects led by entrepreneursIn the world and in is essential Uruguay.
However, the women Representing almost half of the world’s population (49.59%) and even more in Uruguay (52%), this proportion is not reflected in the region. risk capital.
According to information from XcalaThe Latin American Association of Angel InvestorsAn amount of iAngel investors The region more than doubled from 2016 to 2020, going from 2,028 to 4,203. However, although the number of women investors nearly tripled to 627 in that period, they represent only 14.9% of the total.
According to data provided by Xcala, only 14.9% of angel investors in Latin America in 2020 were women.
in Usually venture capital This The presence of a woman According to the data of , decreases to 8% Prowoman (as of 2020) was contributed by Women InvestorsA program that unites women investors and entrepreneurs, developed by Socialb Uruguay and the Organization of Women Entrepreneurs of Uruguay (OMEU), in partnership with UN Women Co-financed by and National Institute of Employment and Vocational Training (INFOP).
This makes sense, he reflected. Isabelle ChakiriandNo Dean Faculty of Business Sciences at the Catholic University of Uruguay, CEO of ATMA and the president Xcala.
“Angel investors are in a decision-making position in the corporate world and have huge assets. Or they are entrepreneurs who have ventured out to invest. This has been going on for years and women There is a lag between achieving equity and investing in it”, he explained.
Sylvia Chevy, Co-Founder and Director of Thaleslab, recognizes that “men invest in men” and that is why there is a movement to add women investors to the region. “I’m with you WeInvest Latam Y Women Entrepreneurs LAC To encourage more women investors and more entrepreneurs. Among these are some Uruguayans,” he said.
The power of a woman
Fernanda Castellanos, Executive Director of OMEU and representative of Women Investors, highlighted the role of women investors in the economy. “People who invest for the long term have better return indices than men. The explanation is because they invest with purpose,” he said.
Virginia Suarez, former CEO of HSBC and current advisor and investor in accompanying projects Social and environmental impact, attributes this success to greater risk perception by women. “They are more intuitive to co-responsibility, think at many edges and see more options,” Suarez explained.
One of the biggest benefits of a woman investing in others is that she understands her reality better, experts agreed. Suarez, who supported 10 initiatives in his last phase, four of which are led by women, clarified that when analyzing where he puts his money, the first thing is to “connect”. And it “happens faster” with women. «It’s more intuitive, I automatically put myself in his place, it’s easy for me to put together a context and understand his reality, the problems he’s going through and what I’ve experienced, the kind of obstacles like imposter syndrome. By investing in another woman, I feel very comfortable, rich,” he said.
Now for all this Encourage more women to invest With that look. “We have to encourage ourselves to collaborate, we can give a lot more as consultants, more than money,” she said.
for Servants, one woman’s union with another woman is “healthy” as aspects such as work-family balance or the challenges of having children are understood. “Men live it differently,” he said.
This reality also affects women entrepreneurs, Castellanos added. “We have identified that when it comes to entrepreneurship, it is difficult for them to apply for long investment processes or not be recognized, due to issues of care and time devoted to unpaid work,” he said.
program Women Investors was created in response to this. According to Castellanos, the objective is both to train impact investors and prepare entrepreneurs so they know how to identify what they want money for.
And the results exceeded expectations.
Two calls were made from each of the two groups (of women investors and entrepreneurs) with a maximum quota of 30 spots and 250 women investors came.
“We were surprised by the numbers, all the studies show that women don’t invest. We did not expect so much. They came Businessmen and senior executives Those who understand that there is no place for women to talk about business, money, investment. They are people who know about companies and can make great contributions”, pointed out Castellanos.
After the first course, 15 projects attracted the interest of about 40 female investors.
Ana Claudia ExpositoAn accountant with experience in companies admitted: “Until I got into this, I didn’t know there were so many good businesses for women.”
Besnati, another investor, said she was “motivated by empowering other women financially because that is the way to achieve a more just world.”
In addition, teaching how to invest had another effect. According to Castellanos, 75% of women investors started betting on the real economy.
Pilar Rodriguez She is retired and admits the program “opened her head.” “It’s a world I didn’t know, it’s very difficult for us to invest in ventures. So far, with my partner, we have done that in our businesses and traditional products. Now I want to continue investing in Uruguayan projects and especially in women”, he concluded.
For many years, Virginia Suarez was synonymous with banks: she spent 30 years at HSBC, the last as general manager. Today her interest turns to projects with impact, be it social or environmental, from her role at the UN or System B, but also as an investor and consultant. “What leads me to invest are circular economy projects, education and digitization, and regional entrepreneurship through Celine, among others,” he said. So far, she has collaborated with 10 projects financially and with her experience, four of which are led by women.
Ana Claudia Exposito is an accountant with a long career in the multinational corporate sector where she held executive financial management positions. Until now, her experience as an investor had been with her husband in financial assets. His transition to entrepreneurship came after the pandemic, he said. “Together with a friend, we decided that after working as dependents for many years, it was time to be independent. We were not very successful and an opportunity arose to invest in empowering women, but with my financial knowledge more than money. Today in her eyes There are two projects.
Pilar Rodríguez is a pharmaceutical chemist, she worked for several pharmaceutical companies, some multinationals and later had her own laboratory and consultancy. Today he is retired and defines himself as an entrepreneur. “I always was, even when I was dependent,” he recalls. In her entrepreneurial phase she learned to take risks, investing in “traditional products” but this year she began studying the possibility of doing so in projects led by women entrepreneurs. “What I love is the empowerment of women, who are financially independent,” she said. It is currently in negotiations with three initiatives.
Alicia Besnati is a businesswoman, for more than 30 years she has directed the company COP Refrigerated Systems with her husband. She affirms that becoming an investor is the end of a process that begins with becoming an entrepreneur. « In 2014 I entered the Más Emprendedoras program to boost my business, in 2019 I became a mentor for women in the Chamber of Industries and then in OMEU and when I was the latter I started to find the needs of women entrepreneurs, the difficulty of accessing credit and existing Lack of knowledge of alternatives”, he pointed out. Today, after going through the first group of women investors, she is in the process of investing in two projects.