SPARK SESSION: ‘WOMEN X INVESTING: BUILDING A NEW ECONOMY’

On 14 September 2022, we convened two experienced and inspiring investors, Vicki Saunders and Cristina Ljungberg, and our co-founder Michelle Yue to discuss the ways in which women can invest and make a positive impact in the world. It proved a fascinating and insightful conversation, with many inspirational and actionable tips from our speakers.


“We've been made to believe that [investing is] so complicated, and it's not. It's not rocket science. Just get started…there's so much information and [many] organisations to support you to get going, like The Beam. Just do it and enjoy it!" - Cristina Ljungberg, The Case For Her

Key Takeaways:

  • The top reason our audience gave for not investing is a lack of confidence

  • According to The Annual Report on Philanthropy, in 2021 Americans gave almost $485 billion to US charities, yet globally we’re seeing persistent poverty, gender inequality, racial discrimination, many symptoms of climate change, and other social and environmental problems. Philanthropy is not enough; we need to find new models for creating change.

  • We need to align our spending and investments with our values in order to shift the ecosystem to better serve people and to create a legacy for the next generation.

  • The current economic system allows people to maximise and extract profit, so we need to use our financial imagination, individual influence and power to come together and make systemic change. We can use our capital to create the change we want to see in the world and build a more sustainable future.

  • Female-founded and female-run businesses are not invested in as much as men (only 2% of VC money is invested in female founded start-ups in the US, according to PitchBook), but we can use our money to fund these businesses, which in turn often offer goods and services for women.

  • Investing can begin with a small amount of capital (even $25 is enough), especially via equity-based crowdfunding sites.

  • Change can be created by normalising finance and investing in our everyday conversations.

  • As we emerge from Covid, we are seeing less and less capital in the hands of women and while many people now recognise this as an issue, we need to focus on gender-lens investing.




Actionable Steps:

  • Start investing, even if only small amounts of capital.

  • Consider becoming involved in a community of investors.

  • Consider funding through ‘micro loans’. These are 0% interest loans that are given to entrepreneurs, usually in emerging markets, repaid and then loaned out again to the next entrepreneur. It becomes a cycle of regenerative capital.

  • Invest in female-founded and female-run businesses. This is called ‘gender lens investing’.


Inspiring quotes from our Speakers:

  • “We've been made to believe that [investing is] so complicated, and it's not. It's not rocket science. It's just to get started and there's so much information and organisations to support you to get going, like The Beam. Just do it and enjoy it!" - Cristina Ljungberg

  • "Just start with a little [investment] and then tell people about it, and it will energise you" - Vicki Saunders

  • “The way that things change is through groups; people come together and work with others” - Vicki Saunders

  • “We need to start using our capital to create the kind of world we want” - Cristina Ljungberg