By Phil LaDuke, Thrive Global
I wish someone told me how difficult it is to raise money as a woman, even with a successful business. When I first tried to move forward on my management buyout, the investment banker involved was so condescending that aside from the negative remarks he made, he never took my interest or bid seriously. He also didn’t bother to read my contract — figuring I wasn’t that important to his work, instead of trying to be helpful. In the end the bank got fired when I stopped the deal they put forward because I had blocking rights in my contract, a fact he would have known if he took me seriously. That was a decade ago but I was reminded of the unpleasant experience when I went out to raise new capital and recapitalize my company just a couple of years ago, when only one of the dozen bankers that showed up had a women on the team. And just six months ago, exploring banking relationships, one of the big banks that has just made a big deal out of supporting women owned businesses, asked me for a personal guarantee on a loan for the business, requiring my husband’s pledge as well — even after 35 years of successful operation and never missing a payment.
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