Community is Capital! How to get on board and get funded, with Anne Ravanona

In this week’s episode of Be and Think in the House of Trust I am listening to Anne Ravanona, an Irish/Spanish global gender equality advocate and entrepreneur, a campaigner and an uplifting public speaker based in France for the past 30 years.

Anne’s mission is to get 1 million women entrepreneurs funded by 2030 and to help companies reach their gender equality targets whilst continuing to scale…

She describes herself as global, passionate, inspiring, dedicated, thought leader!

Join Anne to think about:

1. Together we can! She highlights the economic opportunity and the higher returns on investment that women in entrepreneurship can bring, even if it feels the world is going backwards.

2. The highs and lows of this Gender-Lens investing campaign, and why some Johns and Davids are in the way.

3. The power of community. For Anne, community is capital. By coming together, we can create genuine positive social and environmental change and solve our big issues. She shares practical examples of how we can encourage and activate collaboration, connection and the inclusion of diverse voices in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

4. The role of action and accountability. Anne stresses the importance of taking action, setting targets, and holding oneself accountable. Progress happens through individual commitments and collective effort.

So if you too believe that “Community is Capital”, unleash your funding power and join the movement!

Meet Anne on:


Web: and

Attend this year’s Invest Her Summit:

Gift a founder a space at Dublin’s Invest Her Summit:



14:25:58 Welcome to Be and Think in the House of Trust. My name is Servane and my mission is to be a thinking partner to you all people so you can tell one another and the planet, you matter.

14:26:09 In this show, I'm inviting you to share a moment with an inspiring leader who loves to invest in social and environmental change.

14:26:17 My guest today is Anne Ravanona. She's a global gender equality advocate and entrepreneur, a campaigner.

14:26:25 She's also a fab public speaker too. What matters to Anne is her mission and a mission is to get 1 million women entrepreneurs funded by 2,030 and to help companies reach their gender equality targets.

14:26:39 Okay. let's dive in

14:26:47 Hello, Anne.

So lovely to be here. Oh, I can hear some accents here. Irish Irish, I always put people at the ease.

14:27:00 So I'm Irish and half Spanish as well, living in France for 30 years.

14:27:03 Oh, let's make it simple.

Thanks for joining me and we, we met, a long time ago. We've not, we don't choose a pro for a while now, but thank you for taking the time to think, with us all today.

14:27:16 So you explain you were Irish, you have some Spanish as well and you so if you had 5 all the words maximum that tells us more about who you are and which ones would you pick up?

14:27:31 Global?

14:27:40 Thought leader. Just yeah.

Oh, I'm so curious now. But I was before, but anyway, let's dive in.

14:27:48 So you spoke at the United Nations. It's 2 other words. And you talked about 2 key ways you can change the world of funding for women in entrepreneurship.

14:27:58 With a method that you call together we can. Yes, tell me more. Together we can like before going into the United Nation I said, how are we going to rouse everybody?

14:28:10 Get people excited. We want to have something that's an easy idea to remember. So together we can, it's Ca and commit to act now.

14:28:20 How can we all commit to act now? How can we all commit to act now? And my message is at the UN and my message is at the UN and just generally is We all actually have so much power in our hands that we think.

14:28:28 So I'm very passionate about getting women entrepreneurs funded. That's my key goal, as you mentioned.

14:28:34 And so the 2 ways that I said that we can do this to be together we can is one buy from her.

14:28:40 The best form of funding is the paying customer. And what I did was I took up my credit card and I said, you all have this in your pocket.

14:28:48 Go go buy from her. But also, you know, consciously be a conscious consumer, know where you're getting getting your products from.

14:28:56 A lot of people are interested in being more sustainable and so on. But we could really reignite the global economy.

14:29:03 We could solve more very important problems. If fantastic women entrepreneurs were getting founded at the correct rates. So by from her is a call to action that we can all do that, but it's not just for the consumers, also for corporates and governments.

14:29:19 Because today, Only 1% of government spending worldwide goes to women owned businesses. 1% and it's the same figure for corporate procurement.

14:29:31 So the We could sit and cry. Or we say, look, 99%. And opportunity to grow that.

14:29:41 So. And some countries have taken they've made targets on corporate procurement like the US has had a target for 5% for many years and they've been hitting ready too they've only hit the 5% twice in the last 15 years.

14:29:55 So we've a long way to go. So buy from her is a rallying call to the government.

14:30:00 Bye from her because then you'll get you will create more jobs. You will help more entrepreneurs solve the pressing problems in your in your countries.

14:30:09 And you can't leave half the world behind very simply. That's from the government. Perspective and for the corporate, the same thing.

14:30:17 It's like, just do it. Just buy for, to buy from women entrepreneurs and make it easier for.

14:30:22 Women entrepreneurs to be suppliers in your supply chain because I always have a chat with them. It's very long tedious process and the company has the time to die before they get money from the company, you know, the big corporate.

14:30:33 So it's an uphill. So buy from her is really, yeah, to the governments to the corporates and to us the people.

14:30:42 We the people, yes we can. Together we can. Together we can commit to act now and that is more thoughtful every day.

14:30:49 And the other part of that. So that was by from her and the other side was Of course, encourage more investment in 2 funding and into funding women entrepreneurs and that is Again, on a personal level, encouraging more people to become angel investors, invest their personal money. Why?

14:31:05 Because we can unleash that capital much faster than through VC because we see. Again, dismal numbers only 2% worldwide of global capital VC capital is going to women only founded companies 2%.

14:31:20 That hasn't and keep getting worse and worse. When it comes to angel investment, 15% of angel investors in the UK are women, about 20% of the angel investors in the US are women.

14:31:34 So There's going to be huge wealth transfer as well, particularly in the US. 35 trillion was what they're still estimating.

14:31:41 So the time is now with huge opportunity. Together we can. That's all commit to Agno.

14:31:46 I so I really admire your enthusiasm, your dedication, your love for this campaign. And So we have that conversation, I mean, when we met in Barcelona, I remember the 1st year you are TEDx talk back then Barcelona women with all the We have the same conversation.

14:32:05 I don't want to, you know, to put us in sort of into morose mode here, but what's going on here?

14:32:12 Okay, so I would say things are getting better and things are getting worse. How are they getting worse that start there?

14:32:27 Because when I started Global Better in 2013, it was because I learned of the global credit gap between male and female entrepreneurs that was estimated by IFC World Bank at the time to be 300 billion dollars.

14:32:39 300 billion dollars in difference of money going to nail and female entrepreneurs and I that made me angry.

14:32:45 That's what rallied me to do the work that I do. Pass forward to pre COVID.

14:32:50 So to 2019. That figure had gone to 1.7 trillion dollars, So where going backwards in a very serious way and it's hurting our world because we are not funding.

14:33:03 The solutions that can solve the important problems for the planet because Women see different problems and they solve them differently and we tend to think much more in a community.

14:33:14 Way. And on the impact on what we're doing. So yeah, things are not going well there.

14:33:22 How ever. However, on what's going better since I started 11 years ago. We're seeing the rise of many more funds that are founded by women VCs who got set up being in the club with the guys and not raising the ranks and becoming general partner or managing partner and said I want to set up my own fund.

14:33:44 So there's been a huge rise in funds that are dedicated to funding more women entrepreneurs. Mainly in the US. S.

14:33:52 In Europe, we're seeing it in other parts sometime, few in Asia. So that's very encouraging.

14:33:56 And We now we're talking more about it like when I started all of this 11 years ago nobody was talking about funding women entrepreneurs nobody cared and now the conversation is ripe and the UK government are now on creating the biggest fund for funding women entrepreneurs 250 million pounds is what they have announced.

14:34:16 So we also are seeing. Countries making national strategies on gender equality. So the U.S.A. has a national strategy on general equality.

14:34:28 So beyond just women in leadership. It's also about women's supply chain and women in investing.

14:34:35 We're hoping. Investors, investors around the world more accountable. So what does that look like again in the US there are precursors to this?

14:34:45 They have now in 2 states in the state of California and I know in Massachusetts going through they've now built in laws that are requiring VC funds to be transparent about Yeah.

14:34:56 The gender, the gender side of things. So being transparent on which companies are investing in and the percentage going to to women because it's opaque when it's hidden.

14:35:06 They come to building cows at the door. It's okay. We can stay like this if we want.

14:35:11 No, we can't. So I'm confident, there is a shift. There's a seismic shift happening because for many years I spent a lot of my time doing the advocacy in the public speaking around, er, raising awareness about the problem.

14:35:26 Most people didn't know there was such a big issue and a gap when it came to funding. A women entrepreneurs.

14:35:32 But there's more awareness, which is great. There's more action. There are more actors in the scene.

14:35:37 There's a little bit more accountability and still a lot of opportunity to do more.

14:35:44 Bye. Okay. So we are living in the world of paradoxes. There is.

14:35:50 More awareness, more action, you know, more funds being pulled together, or there are still more people named David than, female fund managers, I suppose.

14:36:00 That's another story. Assumptions that I'm, I'm hearing as well that are hanging or they're not being challenged that makes people not invest so we're not think of investing in women because she's a woman or a black woman or black women from the global south etc.

14:36:19 Right, so imagine you had a few specific people on the sofa around you in this house of trust, for instance, you know, you seriously consider inviting to have a frame conversation with they cannot get out of the room.

14:36:34 What homework do you put them? What do you tell them? What do you challenge them? I thought I thought I was hoping you wouldn't tell me who would ask because I'd be like in front of my test now.

14:36:47 If you have any name, this is an opportunity to invite. Guest of invitation hospitality. We had Joy, Anderson from Kruterian.

14:36:56 We had Joy, and Anderson from criterion. Is she talking to us about that? Who would you I'll come back to that.

14:37:02 I would like to kind of name and encourage. So the who would like what would I say to the list first? st

14:37:08 I'd say. Well, come on guys and ladies and mainly the guys because to your point the majority of money is still in the hands of white men called Dave or John right and it's not okay.

14:37:22 It's not okay. So. We, really, really need more male. Allies not just allies but actually opening up and paying and investing more in women and there are some great guys who are doing it but what I say is like 1st of all hey do you realize that when you invest in a woman on business, she's going to give you 35% higher return on investment?

14:37:45 Okay, so women will actually make you more money with less money that you put in and that's not a good thing.

14:37:52 We want more money going to women but that is the actual fact. So I would say to them.

14:37:59 You're missing out on a huge opportunity by not diversifying your deal flow. And to your point, it is very important to say, looking at diverse founders and diverse women founders.

14:38:11 And so absolutely you're talking about rural women, you're talking about women from the people who identified as women from the LGBTQA plus community you are talking about just black women women of color all different types of women who need their access to funding.

14:38:29 It's not about I don't want to I'm not even talking about equal access because that's not going to happen anytime soon.

14:38:34 So we need to go from 2% or silly 1% to fair access because why should you care? Like 1st of all, if you've got women in your family, do you would it be okay if it was your daughter, your wife?

14:38:48 Your niece who is a startup working to solve Work on breath cancer or working on endometriosis or working on serving women who need to have you know, cosmetic cosmetics to their skin color who've been under served for so many years.

14:39:05 Why ever it is. Would you be okay with them being? Discriminate is against. Just not even before they walk in the room or open their mouth.

14:39:17 Would you be okay? Would you be if you were sitting in as a fly on the room? Would you be okay?

14:39:21 Would you accept that they'd be spoken down to. Underestimated. Yeah, just just even offered advice in advice and so very often investors can It's a power play and they can ask ridiculous, unacceptable in unethical questions.

14:39:39 I'm say things one venture capitalist that I spoke to this week. She was invited to an important meeting in Windsor Castle recently.

14:39:48 She was supposed to speak. But some of the speakers rocked out and so the organizer says, can you come up and speak?

14:39:55 And she said, that's fine. She has a fund and she's funding and a key part of the world that the other participants were.

14:40:01 And you know, how we introduced her. He said, this is so and so. She she is our Barbie.

14:40:08 She's a resident Barbie, so here we have our 1st Barbie and, and she said, it's like, I was like shocked.

14:40:16 I said he introduced you as a Barbie. And she said, yeah. And I said, what did you say?

14:40:21 So the 1st thing she did was to tariff. I said, 1st of all, I'm not a Barbie.

14:40:25 She happens to be beautiful blonde with long long hair. And the 1st thing he got tired of his mouth residing, here's our Barbie.

14:40:32 To a VC. 2 dignitaries in the room, very high position. I was shocked. I said, oh my god, I wish you said, yes, Ken, what is it you're talking about?

14:40:42 Like, I would have thrown it back in the state so fast you wouldn't have known where and I don't care who was like a president, I would have said it to him like, and it wasn't but still unacceptable.

14:40:51 So I would say to those people who are in that room and who have the power and sake. You wanna make funny if it's money that stimulates you, you can actually make more money if you, to more diverse women because they are huge underserved markets.

14:41:06 The markets are crazy. For example, I was at an event recently in New York and the Beauty British Council, they had some fabulous women entrepreneurs speaking and they gave the statistic did you know that the beauty industry in the UK is worth 25 billion pounds.

14:41:21 That's not a small industry. So, and of course that's just one example of many.

14:41:27 So I would say. Huge opportunity. Get your acting gear because you know what? Nobody the pressure is coming.

14:41:36 You're gonna have more pressure from your LP to invest in your funds for diversity. So you're gonna have top-down pressure.

14:41:41 Your LPs are going to say, hold on, what are your diversity metrics? Do you have Are you investing in more diverse founders?

14:41:47 Are you making sure that their actual boards and their top team are diverse? So that's going to that is happening already and bottom up.

14:41:57 Its founders are being more concerning. Now I know it's still in the funding market, the fund the funders currently have more power because of what's happening in the world.

14:42:04 But There are more and more founders who are not accepting checks from anybody. Milly, Nilly, they're like saying, no, no, no, I want someone like if there has to be a very good values fit and we want gender diversity and you the number of Women founders, Savon who say to me I can't find women angels.

14:42:24 I want more women. I what I would say is look, let's give ourselves a target that.

14:42:29 For any any startups. Like can you can you say 30% of your investments will go to fund women?

14:42:36 Founded or co-founded so it doesn't have to be more and only founders because it's too few women only women co-founded teams 30% of your portfolio I would give them that target and I would also say 2 the founders and to the investors who would be investing there and say, and give yourself a target that 30% of the investors be women too.

14:42:57 That's how we shake it because we need more women investors investing whether they're angels, VC, private equity, family office, whatever.

14:43:02 So I give them a target. I give them an objective and say let's do this and then make it and then say okay are you willing to put your money with me?

14:43:14 Math is, let's make it to make a commitment. Let's make it public and then let's see how you do.

14:43:18 Just give yourself a target. And if you make some progress, great. And if you get stuck, that's okay.

14:43:22 There's so many resources, so many great experts out there that can help you on this journey. But honestly?

14:43:28 I know in Zoe and one of your peers that episodes she was like saying There are great movements like me too, Black Lives Matter that have really pushed us forward, thank God, and it's just because the time is now, we're fed up being squashed.

14:43:41 Women entrepreneurs were fed up being overlooked. Underestimated. Our time is now. So I think that's a clear message.

14:43:50 And you have more than just one sofa. You have a Global meetings happening every year.

14:43:56 Can you tell us more about the tradition you've set up around the Global Investor Summit in Dublin.

14:44:04 Since, last year we, I wanted to do more, Savannah. I said, okay, how can we serve more?

14:44:09 Because we started by Do lots of education for women entrepreneurs, then we pivoted to creating 2 tools, a global directory of founders where the funders can find them and where company can buy from her so you can see her find her fund or buy from her on the founder directory on the thunder one.

14:44:24 The women can do their investor research to find women founder friendly sources of funding there. So that wasn't enough.

14:44:33 And last year I said, okay, we need to do more. So we had our very Investor Summit in Paris this year is in Dublin it's an annual event and the whole objective it's I can't say it's more than a summit it's a movement it is about bringing together policy shapers, corporates.

14:44:49 Women entrepreneurs, funders, and notice I don't say investors, I see funders because it's all different sources of funding.

14:44:57 And the, funding ecosystem players. So We have a formula, if you will, in the summit because we bring people together.

14:45:04 To unite them under this together we can. How can we commit to act now? And so. Some of the organizations make public commitments.

14:45:13 So last year we had 15 organizations make commitments on what they're going to do to invest in more women including UNESCO, OECD, World Bank, portfolio, how and invest and Dell and EY is great, but we need more, right?

14:45:27 So And what we do is I love by saying our formula is it's not a blah blah.

14:45:33 Summit it's an action summit. So by Showcasing kick-ass women entrepreneurs and kick-ass investors investing in them from different sectors.

14:45:43 Showcasing what's happening in policy on women entrepreneurship at a global level. We need to know that because that's what's shaping our ecosystem.

14:45:50 So we know from the top down what's happening in the ecosystem then what's happening on government and corporate procurement what's happening in the corporates and the private sector because it has to be a public private.

14:46:02 Partnership to move the needle forward. And to unleash more innovation. And then we can we have action workshops where people come no deeper.

14:46:12 What makes it very special is It is about a global community. It is about a movement. And we had a, you know, every year we have a global pitch competition.

14:46:23 If you're listening to it now, it's open and you'll see for next year too, so apply now if you're a great kick-ass, we want to hear from you.

14:46:30 But. The thing is, it's how can we do more? So we've. Last year and we're focused a lot on access to funding and a little bit on access to markets to corporate and public procurement.

14:46:41 Now this year we're going further. So we want because the best form of funding is a paying customer, right?

14:46:47 So. Great, we need to have the equity funding, but we can also do that through customers. And so we're working more on.

14:46:53 Access to market. So we're gonna have a marketplace or there be 20 women entrepreneurs who are physically there to showcase their products of services, but an online market marketplace as well.

14:47:04 And beyond that, we are working on trade missions. So some countries, there are people coming. Because they want to see If they want to set up the European base in Ireland, how can I do that?

14:47:17 If I want to use Ireland to access the EU market, how can I do that in an intelligent way?

14:47:21 And not only that, how can I do business? Irish women entrepreneurs with women entrepreneurs from other sides of the world.

14:47:28 So access to markets. Bilaterally. Much more than just it's not a bladder come sit and that in sitting listen.

14:47:37 This is like how let's do business and Like we had some concrete, results last year.

14:47:42 We had 6 winners of the Pitch Global Pitch Competition. We had 108 entries from 27 countries.

14:47:48 So this, or I know it's going to be even more than that. And of the 6 winners, one went on to raise, 1 million preseat round.

14:47:59 Another went on to raise 3.5 million. Pre series I around the 3rd got some contracts and business thanks to meeting people at the summit and was part of a presidential trade mission to Brazil.

14:48:11 He only took with President Macron. He only took 5 entrepreneurs. She was the only woman. Not bad.

14:48:18 So it just shows the. We had some investors who invested in in other funds from the from there. It's incredible.

14:48:26 Some of the speakers got to speak and other events from other people. That's that's what we're talking about.

14:48:31 But the key thing is we use this summit as the gathering place to bring together once a year all these incredible people and then throughout the year we have we have virtual meetups and city meetups for doing that now in different cities around the world to make it go bigger.

14:48:47 My call to actions if you care about funding women entrepreneurs join us. Come and join us, not necessarily just at the summit.

14:48:55 This is beyond that. It's joining the movement. And that's why it is a time and the same message.

14:49:00 I'm saying join this because We truly believe that women entrepreneurs are the biggest untapped resource.

14:49:06 In the world that we deserve fair access to funding and market access and opportunity. It's not a nice thing to do, it just makes business sense and it makes sense for our planet.

14:49:21 Because we are pre creating and solving solutions for the planet. And the sector focuses that we showcase at the summit are all linked to the SDGs because and I have my, if you're watching me live you'll see.

14:49:32 I have my SDG gold. I have everything here in front of me. I have my mug, on gender equality, on my dad.

14:49:40 Like we are, I have, I, I'm laughing. I have my bottle with the SGG.

14:49:45 It's great. It's better. It's better than a BBC studio. You can only make.

14:49:54 But I didn't, so listen, what I'm hearing is that people better for their walking, when they come and meet you all and gather and convene with you because they're not going to sit idle on their on their chairs and it's gonna be meeting, talking, acting, walking around.

14:50:11 No, and also one thing that's different is that's I'm super proud of is that we have certain things happening before the summit and after where we give business to women on businesses.

14:50:21 For example, our conference organizer is a woman on business. We are organizing an investor lunch a funder lunch in a in a restaurant or owned by a woman chef who's like in the Michelin guide and all of her producers are women. Yeah.

14:50:37 And And after the summit, we're going to have some post summit tours around Ireland and Dublin, all with women own businesses.

14:50:44 So like we're serious about what we And you know, we have the support of the Irish trade.

14:50:49 Tourism body because and when I spoke to them and they did the bid for bringing the summit to Ireland I said Yeah, but I want to work with your Irish suppliers.

14:51:00 Give me the list of Irish company, women owned companies that can help me. And they didn't have it and I said, we don't know.

14:51:06 So I've actually helped them and push them forward. So now they're building a list of women on suppliers and guess what?

14:51:10 Through this is what are talking about the power of actually doing business. This is the whole point is. We're organizing meeting.

14:51:18 Special events in Belfast to do things in Northern Ireland for Northern Ireland sisters so that they come to summit.

14:51:25 So in Belfast we will have events on the 17th of June. But anyway, we have one day for events.

14:51:30 And guess what happened when I was organizing that one of the women entrepreneurship is a serial entrepreneur and a woman investor.

14:51:37 I said to her, I said, we're gonna have this thunder lunch and this woman on chef and she says, oh.

14:51:41 Well, I have my business is L of beef. I have 2,000 head of beef in Northern Ireland and I supply.

14:51:47 And, and I told them that she said has women supplies. It's just, oh, well, maybe.

14:51:53 And I said, okay, I said, no problem. After the call, I connected both of them.

14:51:56 The chef said to me, Anne, we're organising a big event. And we need wagu beef.

14:52:03 Within 24 h. The woman founder who does the logo her beef was on the menu and being cooked in that chef's restaurant.

14:52:11 That's what I'm talking about, right? It's not blah blah. It's actually, it's concrete, wonderful, wonderful.

14:52:20 No, how can, how can people find you and connect with you, Ed?

14:52:25 Through if you're interested in everything we do check out our 2 websites one is invest her when it's around summit time and in general global invest her.

14:52:40 Dot com. Okay, so they're the 2 best places and of course on my LinkedIn and all our LinkedIn you get us there.

14:52:45 Yeah, we can bring on close our time together and I wonder Briefly, what is the question that you want to reflect on in the coming year for yourself?

14:52:58 Hmm. Oh, that's a good question.

14:53:03 Honestly, it's like How can we have more impact faster? Right. Okay. Okay, wow.

14:53:14 Thank you very much, And I wish you all the best with this question because that's a that's a big one.

14:53:22 That's the how 2 question right? And I'm sure you're gonna find wonderful people around in before during and after the summit and all the The road shows that you organizing that gonna think with you.

14:53:36 And do and act with you. My tap line is community is capital. Community is capital. We can do all this.

14:53:45 Through community and it's capital because it's super important. That's what it means. And so if we bring together the communities that capital can move. So it's super important.

14:53:54 So communities capital join us. Thank you. That's a lovely, a lovely thought to, to take away from, time together.

14:54:02 Thank you. So this is it for this episode of B and thinking the house trust. I hope you've enjoyed.

14:54:07 Who you would like to have on your sofa and ask this, this kind of questions and have the discussions and challenge.

14:54:17 That matters to you. So which question would you dare to ask yourself as well and explore in the coming months?

14:54:23 I'm so curious. I look forward to meeting you again in the House of Trust for our next show.

14:54:28 This series, as you know, is available wherever you love to listen to your podcast, check the previous episodes along with today's episode, you're gonna find a lot of questions, observations from guests that we're hope you navigate the mental models we need collectively and individually ignite positive social and environmental change.

14:54:46 Connect with me through. So, and get regular conscious innovation updates too. Bye for now. Stay connected.

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