Thank you Emily Li Yan and Brooke Nelson from Provisions Market + Gifts in Langley, BC for reminding us of the FIERCE, innovative, impact driven women we are honoured to work with.
Women are WITHOUT a doubt driving the FUTURE of CPG so it's about time our fearless founders received the recognition & funding they deserve. My wish in 2023 is for Female Owned Brands to start getting the same treatment from the Finance World = VC, PE, FC, Banks as Male Owned Brands. The upsetting fact is that 67% of innovation is lead by Female Founders and only 2% go to Female Founded Brands and 0.02% go to beautiful Women of Colour. Sadly even when I talk about this daily 99% including women turn the other way as they don't want to hear about it. But anyone who ran a successful CPG Brand like Tara from SmartSweets or Bethany from Skinnygirl knows that you will not have the ability to scale without adequate and consistent funding no matter how exceptional your brand is.
I've pitched in many board rooms full of men who look at you with 10 heads as they simply don't relate to the pain point your solving. Why does this matter? Because investors need to feel emotionally drawn to your brand to write a cheque. Even the Dragons and Sharks say over and over again each episode "I have to be passionate about what I invest in." Here's why this is such a problem. Costco who is unarguably the HOLY GRAIL Account because the math actually makes sense orchestrate their entire store around the female shopper aged 32-46 with 2 kids. They have the largest basket size x 3 of any another account including Whole Foods. So in a nutshell women not only create the innovation; they drive the CPG market with the highest purchasing power which makes the most sense as we know what our fellow sisters want and need. But if the boardroom is full of men writing the cheques and don't feel passionate about what we're pitching we are DOA. Banks especially in Canada treat entrepreneurs MEN & WOMEN like lepers. They will bend over to give a loan to someone that makes 20% of what we do just because they are not self employed so they are not an option in getting REAL money in the early days.
So here we are back to the boardroom and the solution is two fold.
Number 1: Women need to start FINANCIALLY supporting women by writing cheques which is barely happening. There are MANY sucessful women in my life that make insane money but would never consider supporting female entrepreneurs as they invest in Real Estate, Stocks or their Family. So we have to be accountable as a sex on that note and take a page from men who do go out of their way to write cheques for other men.
Number 2: Men need to put their ego aside like Buffet and become way more disciplined with writing cheques vs. using their investment as an opportunity to grab drinks with fun young guys and feel like their in college again. To really understand the market they need to become the market and shadow a mother of 2 for a week and understand her world. We're not asking for special treatment we are asking for equal treatment.
I know this is going to rub many the wrong way and you will respond with examples of certain institutions that have Women In Business Programs but none of those programs help in the early days or they don't offer NEARLY enough capital that's required to ACTUALLY scale and succeed. So instead of trying to prove me wrong I encourage you post how your going to be part of the solution. It can be something as simple and FREE as making a conscious effort to like, follow, share, review Female Brands. I don't blame men as it's human nature to support those you relate too. I am simply encouraging you to pay more attention to HER and give HER an actual shot the next time she's pitching regardless if you care why we want to "Kick sugar and keep candy!" or "Want a margarita and not feel guilty about it!" And to the women who can invest please start as I promise your ROI will be fulfilled not just financially but also emotionally as your are contributing to the greater good and the future health of humanity and the planet will thank you.
This is intended to empower you to think and act in a more mindful manner and be the change you want to see because it is possible to level the game so EVERYONE receives an EQUAL and HONEST opportunity to live their purpose and succeed.