Business & Startups

Fyli and UBS Encourage Women in Business & Finance to ‘Own Your Worth’ at Event in NYC – Grit Daily News

Fylí, a Network as a Service (NaaS) business for early-stage female founders, has teamed up with UBS Global Wealth Management to host its Own Your Worth salon series, most recently at The Ned Nomad in Manhattan.

Female founders of early stage companies gathered with successful female investors one recent evening in Manhattan at the Own Your Worth event, hosted by Fylí and UBS Global Wealth Management. They gathered not to discuss how to better tailor their pitches to male investors, but to build alternative networks connecting female entrepreneurs with female investors.

The Own Your Worth event in New York, the second stop on a four-city tour, began with opening remarks from Fyli CEO Jaclynn Brennan on the need to support female founders. Fylí’s mission, she said, is to support and empower early-stage female founders, helping them get the resources necessary to succeed in a male-dominated world.

Most venture capitalists are men who, collectively, invest relatively little in companies founded by women. Year after year since 2011, about 2% of total VC investments goes to companies founded by women. That amounted to $6.4 billion in 2021, out of the total VC investment of nearly $330 billion. Minority female founders have even less success persuading male VCs to invest. But woman entrepreneurs don’t have to wait for the female equivalent of Sand Hill Road. The funding needs of early stage companies, like those working with Fyli, are often modest. Female investors can make a positive impact by investing in woman owned companies, Brennan said.

“It’s not always about writing a check for millions of dollars,” she said. “For early stage founders it can be about a check for $25,000 or $50,000.”

A panel discussion, facilitated by Kathryn Tuggle of HerMoney, including Annie Evans, founder of Dream Ventures; Andrea Walne, General Partner at Manhattan Venture Partners; Asher Jay, CEO and Founder at IncOperate; Deanna Brown, an early stage investor from Austin, Tx; and Bianca (Benedetti-Fang) Wood, Director and Field Engagement Manager for UBS Business Owners Client Segment. There seemed a clear sense the women investors, motivated as much by solidarity as profit want to invest in companies founded by women.

Barbara Roberts, Entrepreneur in Residence, Columbia Business School and Hofstra University, delivered the closing keynote drawn from her own experience and research on woman entrepreneurs. Female founders tend to build companies more focused on people – employees, customers, vendors, – than is typical for male founders, she said.

Roberts interviewed eight successful woman founders for a white paper on female entrepreneurs. While each of them was proud of all they had overcome to succeed, they all agreed they would have met fewer obstacles if they had dealt with fewer male decision makers. “They all acknowledged that with more women leaders in the various industries they worked in, as well as in finance and real estate, their paths to success would probably have been less arduous,” Roberts wrote.

She reminded the gathered women that prior to the Equal Credit Opportunity Act of 1974, women could not get credit cards, loans and mortgages without a man’s signature on a loan application. Prior to passage of the Women’s Business Ownership Act in 1988, women could not get a business loan without the signature of a male relative, presumably their husbands but a cousin or adult male child would do as well.

Women investors are gradually building funding alternatives for female entrepreneurs, especially for early stage companies like those Fyli works with. Roberts sees that trend gaining momentum. Women have a strong tendency to help other women. “As women create more of their own wealth, more is coming back to female founders, female political leaders and female causes,” she said.

The next Own Your Worth event is scheduled November 11 at the Soho Warehouse in Los Angeles and will focus on the wellness industry. The final Own Your Worth event of the year will be December 2 and 3 in Miami will be held at Soho Beach House and Soho Pool House. It will focus on women in the arts.

Download the digital Own Your Worth program and the UBS Own Your Worth report for additional information and insight into the partnership initiative.

Peter Page is the Contributions Editor at Grit Daily. Formerly at, he began his journalism career as a newspaper reporter long before print journalism had even heard of the internet, much less realized it would demolish the industry. The years he worked a police reporter are a big influence on his world view to this day. Page has some degree of expertise in environmental policy, the energy economy, ecosystem dynamics, the anthropology of urban gangs, the workings of civil and criminal courts, politics, the machinations of government, and the art of crystallizing thought in writing.

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