August 26, 2021
Women's Equality Day: Elizabeth Gore, Hello Alice
In celebration of Women's Equality Day, QED is shining a light on the female founders and CEOs of companies in which it invests.
Next up is Elizabeth Gore, the co-founder and president of Hello Alice, a company she started with Carolyn Rodz to help small-business owners across the U.S. get access to funding, mentorship and resources.
As a female founder in what has historically been a male-dominated financial technology industry, what struggles have you had to overcome in your professional journey?
Our number one struggle has been access to capital. Women get less than 3 percent of venture capital, and as a Latina-owned company, the numbers are even less. I was always convinced that if we had an incredible business plan, product-market fit and high-performance metrics, we would have equal access to capital. That is 100 percent not the case in the current funding landscape. It is critical that funders look at their metrics and ensure they are taking 50 percent of their pitches from women-owned companies.
Once we are in the pitch - it is up to us to perform!
How is Hello Alice making a difference in people’s lives today, particularly among female and diverse small-business owners?
We are laser focused on providing women business owners the two toughest commodities - time and money. Time: Women tend to have more on their plates with childcare, elder care and community engagement. This makes them incredible managers, but with very little time. We strive to give fast recommendations to ensure efficient decisions and processes inside the management of their business.
Money: we source as much relevant capital as possible and specifically push funders to include women in their processes and outputs for financial access. We have also built a funding center on HelloAlice.com for owners to get funding alerts for capital specific to their demographic.
You have a wonderful co-founder in Carolyn. What are her superpowers and what makes her such an effective partner and leader?
Carolyn has the unique talent to design software for future SMB needs before anyone knows they need it. I am convinced it is because her mind is brilliant but she listens to small business owners with her heart.
What are the next steps to ensuring female entrepreneurs are supported and funded in the same way that male founders are?
When women have access to capital they tend to outperform their male counterparts. We need to ensure this statistic is in the minds of all capitalists. We are a damn good financial bet.
What resources do you turn to when you’re seeking support and guidance?
I find the smartest and best-networked people I know, and ask them to give council and make warm introductions to appropriate funders.
What can individuals – both male and female – be doing better to elevate female viewpoints?
Ensure that half the room, no matter the topic is female.
What is one piece of hard-won advice that you would recommend to any young female entrepreneur?
Hold your head up high and give them hell.