Forbes Magazine quotes Kim Wales
September 9, 2016
Kimberly Crupi Dobbins recruited two knowledgeable but silent angel investors. Felena Hanson brought in an investor and partner who would play a key role in her operation. Lucy Postins sold minority stakes to established, expert investors who would protect her sustainability values.
Securing equity investment while female can seem daunting, but these three women and many more are doing it. And with careful thought, research and determination, they’re finding the equity investors and setting the terms that are right for them and their growing businesses.
Most entrepreneurs use personal savings and reinvest business profits to expand. But a truly ambitious plan to scale up usually requires tapping outside capital. For most, that means getting a loan, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). However, about 2% of business financing comes from angel investors and venture capitalists. These investors provide what can be sizable sums of money to entrepreneurs looking to seize opportunity in competitive, fast-moving industries, and sometimes supply expert advice and connections too. In exchange, they get a share of ownership and future profits.
Women, though, are quite scarce in the elite equity world. Only one woman raises equity financing for every nine men, according to the National Women’s Business Council (NWBC), and women-owned businesses receive just 2% of all equity dollars, while men-owned businesses receive 18% (equally owned and public companies get the the rest). One reason: Few women are in leadership roles at investment firms — in 2014 only 6% of their top management was female.
It can be a challenge to be the only woman in the room in equity negotiations, said Kim Wales, the founder and CEO of New York management consulting firm Wales Capital, at a recent NWBC public meeting. And women often hold back. “We scale back the vision, we scale back the dollar amount that we’re asking for when we’re raising the capital,” she says. “We should have the biggest idea at the table… We should be very confident in our ability to succeed. We should be asking for the capital up front to really make our visions come live.”
With the national election scheduled in two weeks, Congressman Patrick McHenry finds the time to continue advocating for small business and emerging growth companies in the changing markets under the JOBS Act for Title II, Title II and Title IV at Dara Albright’s New York Event held on October 21, 2014. Ultimately, Congressman McHenry’s delivered a keynote address that focussed on capital formation issues and offering a way forward.
In the keynote address, McHenry discusses: 1). the state of play in Washington; 2) outlines the three Titles of the JOBS Act that he is passionate about; 3) provides three leg stool for Regulation A+; 4) offers an explanation about why are we working through the question of Capital Formation?; 5) provides key take away; 6) Q&A:
State of Play: Gridlock in Washington, based on the work product witnessed or not witnessed by the American people. The JOBS Act is the most significant re-write of securities law in the last 80 years. There is greatest hope for capital formation and economic sustainability is built into Title III – Regulation Crowdfunding so long as Investor Protection and Capital Formation remain at the forefront of a developing robust marketplace.
Title II (Regulation D, Rule 506(c) and Rule 144A: Lifting the Ban on General Solicitation, which was a straight forward piece of legislation that went live on September 23, 2013. Working well while in it’s infancy.
Title III (Securities Based Crowdfuding): The ambition of Title III was to update outmoded securities law and merge technology with finance. Currently, the law remains deeply flawed and the rule has been pending for a substantially long time (over 700 days). What should have been structured at the Commissioner level has turned into a top priority at the SEC. Now Congress needs to fix the problem, and the SEC must work with Congress because things like cost structure does not work as laid out in the final proposed rules. To mention a few flaws that do not work: a). audited financial statements for offering $500K or greater; b). issuance capital raise limits up to $1 million; and c). prohibition on testing the water.
Title IV (Regulation A+) – The biggest opportunity presented by the SEC’s proposal is the preemption of state blue sky law. Regulation A, lifts the capital raise limits from $5 million to $50 million; in addition, a qualified purchaser can invest up to 10 percent of the net worth in an Reg. A offering. What is needed is a well written set of laws and rules for Regulation A. This is now become a top priority for McHenry! “We must get the rules right so that is not a dead letter upon arrival but rather it can be a lively opportunity.”
Further, by implementing Title IV, this will allow for us to fix the question of securities based crowdfunding, more specifically equity crowdfunding because of great opportunities afforded the main street entrepreneur, retail investor, and risk takers. “In order to get this right, there are 3 legs to the stool of this alliance”, says McHenry.
3 Legs to the stool of this alliance:
Congress and SEC getting this question of regulation of law correct and done.
Galvanize the democratization of finance: significant amount cultural shift in the marketplace must take place and we the people must be drivers of the shift; alongside helping to create useable public policy in Washington.
Open structure data on the market: we must have the best information on the markets and best market structure that can follow as a result of open structure data. This most importantly can help to move Congress and SEC in the right direction.
Why are we working through the question of Capital Formation? Entrepreneurs may not be connected to the right side of the tracks to get financing for their companies. Delivering the entrepreneur to the marketplace and connecting them to the world of capital so that we can all live better tomorrow and have real vibrant economic growth!
Take Away: Communicate and Build Relationships. Make sure that we have connection with policymakers in Washington. The SEC has an open door policy — go to Washington and introduce yourself. Go to Capital Hill and get to know your U.S. Representative. If you don’t have relationships, go an introduce yourself, to your State Ccongressman and Senator. Inform them about sound public policy. Build these relationships!
Congressman Patrick McHenry takes the final question: Kim Wales, crowdfunding industry pioneer and founder of Wales Capital and CrowdBureau ask Congressman McHenry the last question: “You talk about lobbying our Senators and Congressman, but there is a lobbying group called NASSA that is an influential body as it relates to small securities offerings across all of the states. How do we balance the discussion with that organization and their influence on all of the states in terms of pushing this bill forward (Title IV – Regulation A+)?”
National Crowdfunding Experts, Kim Wales, Douglas Ellenoff, Zack Cassidy – Dorian and Jonathan Sundland share their views on where the big opportunity is in securities based crowdfunding within the next five years at the Feliciano Center for Enterpreneurship on the Montclair State University Campus.