Shifting Wealth and Capital to Women-Owned Businesses

Accessing capital continues to be the greatest challenge for women business owners globally, including in G7 countries. How can we improve access to capital for women? What funding model works best – bootstrapping? angel investors? venture capital?

Experts will provide seasoned guidance on how enterprises can plan strategically and tackle challenges of access to capital. Guidance will be offered on how to align critical financing decisions with a company’s roadmap, appetite for risk, growth stage and other factors.

The webinar will consider the gender dimensions of pitching and connecting with investor interests and highlight two bold initiatives that will change the investment landscape to expand women’s access to capital in an unprecedented way.

The Billion Dollar Fund for Women is working with venture capitalists worldwide on a commitment to dedicate capital to women-owned businesses. Mirova, a French asset management company, collaborates with UN Women to encourage other asset managers to join them in investing in companies where women comprise a sizable presence in executive leadership and have signed the Women’s Empowerment Principles.





Kristin Haffort, USA National Coordinator, WE EMPOWER  Programme, UN Women



Shelly Bell, CEO, Black Girl Ventures



K. Shelly Porges, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, The Billion Dollar Fund for Women

Mathilde Dufour, Co-head of Mirova’s Sustainable Investment Research Department



Shelly Bell, CEO, Black Girl Ventures

Shelly Bell is a system disruptor and business strategist who moves ideas to profit while empowering people to live more authentically. As a cultural translator, she connects entrepreneurs, investors, and corporations in order to diversify their talent pipeline, increase equity and grow their brands. According to best-selling author Daniel Pink, she has “A Whole New Mind” – a Serial Entrepreneur & Computer Scientist with a background in performance poetry, K-12 Education and IP Strategy. She was named Entrepreneur of the Year by Technically DC and acknowledged as A Rising Brand Star by Adweek. She is among the nation's most sought-after transformational speakers in the Washington, DC Metro area. She has been featured in Forbes, Politico Live, The Washington Business Journal, NewsOne, The Afro, and People of Color in Tech. Her organization, Black Girl Ventures (BGV) is a social enterprise that creates access to social and financial capital for Black/Brown women founders. BGV travels the country with a disruptive pitch competition that shifts the power dynamics in funding by combining crowdfunding and pitching. As a Google Guru and Ecosystem Builder, she engages audiences from grassroots to government. Shelly has trained over 5,000 entrepreneurs, held over 300 events for empowering leaders, managed multi-million-dollar contracts, and scaled over 100 businesses.


K. Shelly Porges, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, The Billion Dollar Fund for Women

K. Shelly Porges is Co-Founder and Managing Partner of The Billion Dollar Fund for Women, a global consortium of venture funds pledged to invest in female-founded firms. She is also a Board Member of the Financial Alliance for Women and on the Advisory Board for Cornerstone Capital, Mindshift Capital, Different Funds and Global Invest Her. Ms. Porges served as President of the North American Jury for the Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards and as the former Senior Advisor, Global Entrepreneurship Programme at the U.S. State Department, a programme she expanded to almost 150 countries, under Secretary Hillary Clinton. Before joining the State Department, she had a distinguished career in the private sector, including both corporate and entrepreneurial ventures. She served as executive head of marketing for American Express Canada and as Chief Marketing Officer for Bank of America. Ms. Porges has co-founded several start-up ventures, including Porges/Hudson Marketing; Scudder Weisel Capital LLC; and Global Payments Experts LLC. Ms. Porges holds both a BS with Honors and MPS degree from Cornell University.


Mathilde Dufour, Co-head of Mirova’s Sustainable Investment Research Department


Mathilde Dufour is co-head of Mirova’s Sustainable Investment Research department, in charge of coordinating ESG/thematic research and engagement activities. Mathilde began her career in 2007 at EthiFinance, a French CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) rating agency specialised in small and mid-cap companies. In 2009, she joined Natixis Asset Management. Over the last 10 years, Mathilde has actively participated in the development of unique ESG research methodologies for equities and green/social bonds, in addition to regularly publishing research articles on topics in sustainable development. She also contributed to the development of Mirova’s Women Leaders Equity fund. She holds a master’s degree in International Relations from Sciences Po Bordeaux.






The webinar is hosted by UN Women’s WE EMPOWER - G7 Team. “Promoting economic empowerment of women at work in G7 countries” (WE EMPOWER – G7) is a programme funded by the European Union (EU) and implemented by UN Women and the International Labour Organization (ILO). 

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