Revolution in a bag
Did you know that only 1% of the Swedish investment capital is goes to female founders? Even though almost 30% of new Swedish businesses are founded by women (which by the way is also a sad number).
I came to a point where I wanted to raise capital. It was the first time raising capital for me and it was not just about the money, it was also about gathering people who shared my vision and who believe in me. I started reaching out; I called everybody I knew who could help and searched for people with interesting backgrounds and experiences that I wanted to have with me on mine and Bukvys journey forward.
After hard work and a lot of pitching I have found a great group of investors who invested in Bukvy not just with money but also with great engagement and expertise. Bukvy is still 92% owned by women which I am very proud of but I am also proud of the great men in my owning team.
I and my co-founder Joanna have been working with Bukvy since our first maternity leaves in 2015. In 2019 we both had our second children. It was frustrating to “pause” Bukvy since more and more women found us and we felt the power of growing our brand. But life is not a straight line and all things cannot be planned. We had already agreed that we wanted to raise capital and we convinced ourselves that our kind of investors would see more than just yearly growth in numbers. Bukvy was a best friend project that has turned into a lifestyle and a real brand. But it is not a conventional business. Today I’m the one working full time but with strong support from Joanna, my part-time colleagues, interns, and also an active group of investors. Unfortunately, I have gotten many comments about the business not being a straight line: “I know why, but numbers are numbers...” And what can I say? It all sounds like bad explanations but running a business on maternity leave with a baby at home and short daycare hours might actually show in the numbers. What can I do? Anyways, I am not complaining, I got my investment and I could not be happier than I am with my owning team! I just wish that women in the future who takes care of their kids didn’t have to hear this.
From what I have understood from talking to business-minded friends another big reason not asking for capital is that many of us don’t know how it works. It’s the risk of just getting no’s. Also, it’s the risk of getting someone else's money and losing it. Of course it is scary but even more - it’s exciting and the possibility of succeeding is much higher. One of the loveliest things I have gotten to learn through my fellow female entrepreneurs is that also the ones who fail do not fail. It’s terrible at the moment but many times they end up in something even greater. That are the journeys I am most grestriktiv for being told about and shared.
I love being a female founder. It’s challenging, stressful, time-consuming, and scary. And it’s my best life, I build something together with my customers and I wake up excited about what the day will bring. Part of that is the power that has come from my group of investors.
Except for it being so terribly unfair that only 1% goes to female-founded businesses it’s sad that not more women get to feel the rush of creating a business– with power from capital and experience. I want to ask all investors in the world to invest 50% of their money (at least!) in female-founded businesses. And I want to help support and convince female founders to ask for money if they want it!
OH! And remember that it makes a great difference when you choose to spend your money on female-founded businesses!
Here are a few of my own favorites, all female-founded brands with great values and quality:
IamEleni, MANTLE, Our New Routine, MES DAMES, Brave little you and Helgrose.
Have a beautiful weekend!