SheWorx, the company dedicated to helping women entrepreneurs grow, prosper, and find investment opportunities has been acquired by the equity crowdfunding platform, Republic. The company announced the acquisition in a press release on Wednesday. Thus far, SheWorx has been able to help more than 20,000 women build and scale their companies. The organization was founded on the idea that closing the gender gap would only come through collaboration, not competition, between women in the workplace.
When former Olympic gymnast Lisa Wang founded SheWorx she wanted to create a positive environment where female entrepreneurs and business owners could go for valuable resources that would help them find success in the business world. Things like funding and investments are harder for women and women-owned businesses to come by. Men currently make up about 94% of the businesses that seek funding. So funding and growth can often seem more intimidating than they need to be for women—especially considering that they’re often the first to do so in their respective fields. In Silicon Valley especially, this can be both challenging and intimidating for a new business owner—even more so for marginalized women.
The creation of SheWorx was more than just a business venture for Wang, who felt that creating a place where women could face their challenges in a welcoming environment was the key to their success. Throughout the acquisition by Republic, Wang has and will continue to serve as an advisor to the company. “This acquisition is a powerful way to usher in the future of funding and a new wave of inclusive and socially minded leadership,” she says. “You can’t create change by following old ways of doing things and success should not center around a small group of homogeneous venture capitalists,” says Wang.
Statistics show that women and women-led businesses receive as little as 2.2% of all venture capital funding. While this number may seem low, these same businesses also outperform men and male-owned businesses in the crowdfunding world. This is partially because crowdfunded ventures are more community-oriented, but also because investors can contribute as little as a couple of dollars. In the venture capital world, though, large investments toward women-owned businesses are hard to come by.
Republic hopes to change those statistics with its acquisition of SheWorx. The company feels that it will provide a platform where it can invest resources and money into programs that will help women business owners connect to investors and other invaluable resources, networking opportunities, workshops, and events. So far, 40% of Republic’s investments, making up hundreds of millions of dollars, have gone toward female-founded companies. The company hopes to increase that percentage with the acquisition of SheWorx.
“We are very excited to bring the SheWorx community of 20K+ female entrepreneurs into the Republic family and begin giving women a more democratic way to access capital,” said the founder and CEO of Republic, Kendrick Nguyen. Despite the acquisition, Republic aims to keep things more or less the same at SheWorx as it transitions ownership. All of the events in both New York and San Francisco will stay the same.