Building a Better World through Investing in Women

Building a Better World through Investing in Women

Passion, awareness and programs moving women entrepreneurship forward

Women passionate about the power of women entrepreneurs to build a better world are working to remove barriers and empower more women to be successful in their business ventures.

Donna Morton recently spoke with Axiom News about her time as an Unreasonable Institute fellow this summer. Donna says people were commenting that having nine women out of 26 fellows was a notable number, making women entrepreneurship a common conversation.

Donna, First Power co-founder and CEO, is exploring how to change the way investors see women to promote more investing in their enterprises, and how to change the way women see themselves when pitching.

“Let’s have that conversation,” says Donna. “Let’s map that and figure out how to resource each other to solve those problems and to push through those barriers, especially if we are creating some of them ourselves.”

Hunter Lovins, Natural Capitalism Solutions president, became a mentor for Donna through the Unreasonable Institute.

“I asked her to help me become a more powerful woman in the energy sector and that my intention was that together we would lift a whole bunch of other women around the world,” says Donna.

Pamela Chaloult, Renewal managing director, has been passionate about women entrepreneurship for years, having discovered the support needed for women wasn’t available.

She says in Vancouver and San Francisco she is seeing more women “jumping into the entrepreneurship boat.”

Pamela points to the importance of empowering women to embrace financial acumen. She notes 80 per cent of women are in charge of their household duties, so giving them the tools and demystifying finance is necessary.

“I think more women are getting involved in the investment arena, which traditionally has been a very male-dominated sector as well, and so that changes the dynamics because innately we have a different lens on how we look at things,” says Pamela.

“We’re seeing more programs within the investment arena that are supporting women entrepreneurs,” she adds, pointing to the work of Criterion Ventures as an example.

Criterion Ventures’ Women Effect Investments is educating people about the importance of focusing on women, both as investors and as markets to invest in.

Jackie Vanderbrug, Criterion Ventures managing director, says the initiative is “creating the environment where other people who want to start funds with gender lens can be successful.”

Jackie is “thrilled to start to see an ecosystem emerge” ranging from a women’s angel impact investing group in the Netherlands, to a Geneva group supporting global social entrepreneurs with a gender lens, to a Texas fund investing in women growth companies.

“My hope is that it becomes normative in investing to use a gender lens and in that way that we together build a better planet through investing differently,” says Jackie.

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Writer Bio

Jennifer Neutel's picture
Jennifer Neutel

Jennifer Neutel is a Story Advocate and Generative Journalist at Axiom News. She completed her Bachelor of Journalism at Carleton University in Ottawa in 2006, and joined Axiom News in 2007. She has taken on a variety of roles at Axiom including new social media intiatives and has a passion for creating strengths-based questions that can lead to positive change.

Contact Jennifer:, or 705-741-4421 ext. 26.

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