Kate Anderson is Operations Director of iFundWomen, a crowdfunding platform for women-owned entrepreneurial ventures. iFundWomen is dedicated to increasing access to capital for female entrepreneurs so that more women are able to start and grow thriving businesses. iFundWomen is devoted to tackling a major issue, as currently only 17 percent of startups in the U.S. have a female founder, with less than three percent of all venture capital going to female CEOs. Like a Boss Girls chats with Kate Anderson to learn more about what iFundWomen is doing to make history today.
Name: Kate Anderson
Job Title: Operations Director
Current location: Boston, MA, but iFundWomen is based in NYC
Originally from: Montclair, NJ
Superpower: Multitasking, which is also my demise at times.
Name a woman in history that you admire & why:
Queen Rania of Jordan who emphasizes the importance of education for girls in Jordan.
Quote/piece of advice that you live by:
Perfect is the enemy of done.
What inspired you to get involved with your current venture?
I was inspired by the enormous funding gap in the U.S. that is hurting women. Women are the fastest growing segment of entrepreneurs in the United States, yet women only receive 2.5% of venture funding dollars for our businesses. iFundWomen exists to change the funding power dynamics that exist in this country and to give women entrepreneurs an equal shot at getting their ideas funded.
What is your company doing to make history today?
iFundWomen is on a mission to increase access to capital for female entrepreneurs, empowering women to start and grow better businesses. iFundWomen drives funding to startups and small businesses through a flexible crowdfunding platform with a pay-it-forward model, expert startup coaching, professional video production, and a private community for our entrepreneurs. iFundWomen is changing the business of how businesses launch. This last part is so important. As more women are looking for flexibility in their work lives and launching new businesses, we are helping them to start those businesses without going into debt.
What is one thing your company has accomplished that you are most proud of?
iFundWomen raised over $1.2 M for female entrepreneurs in our first year of business. I am incredibly proud of that. We have helped so many women get off their businesses off the ground. Every time a woman gets her project funded, I get a rush of energy! I am personally invested in every project on the site and I celebrate the iFundWomen community’s wins as my own.
What, in your opinion, is one of the biggest challenges facing your industry today?
There is a lack of capital for female entrepreneurs. As we know, money is power – so when women have money, they will have more power. This is critical for things to change in our society. We need to move away from being a patriarchal society.
What is a trend in your industry that you foresee becoming popular in the future?
I foresee more people utilizing their personal networks to raise capital for their business. While crowdfunding has been around for a decade, it is still a relatively new concept and many people haven’t heard about it. We want all women to think of iFundWomen as the first step on their funding journey so that they don’t go into debt when starting businesses.
What is one of the greatest challenges you have personally faced at this job?
When I had my second child, I came back after my paid maternity leave without adequate childcare. I thought I could do the exact same job with two kids as I did with one kid. Big mistake. I was sloppy, unfocused and generally just stressed. Fortunately, I work for such a female-friendly job. I can’t imagine how different my situation would have been if I had been working for a huge corporation. Our CEO, Karen Cahn, was honest and understanding while still pushing me to do better.
Once I realized that I needed to set up more childcare, a new work environment and a better system for working, I was right back at it — it just required me to make some adjustments that I had not anticipated. I am now pregnant with my third child and I’m due in June. This time around, I am taking great care to make sure that I am prepared to go back to work after maternity leave so that I can be successful at my job and at home.
What were you doing before your current role?
I worked at a commercial real estate development company. The shift to a female-run, remote team has been wonderful. I have never been so inspired — both by the work I am doing and by my coworkers. We are constantly striving to provide the best experience for our users. We are dedicated to working hard as a team because we know that incredible things happen when women work together.
What is one piece of advice you’d like to give to other female founders & change-makers?
As I said above, I believe that perfect is the enemy of done. One reason that many women are so good at their jobs is that women have a tendency to strive for perfection, but I believe it is just as important to know when to stop perfecting, finish the task and move on. We urge our iFundWomen entrepreneurs to be wary of that.
Fun fact about yourself:
I’ve run two marathons. One marathon I decided to do the day-of, and the other I did while I was pregnant!