As a cofounder and managing director of the Women’s Venture Capital Fund (WVCF), Monica Dodi (MBA 1984) backs female-led, early-stage ventures in digital media and sustainable products and services. Dodi says these emerging consumer markets for women and families will grow exponentially in the next decade.
Even though women start businesses at twice the rate of men, their access to capital has been limited, says Dodi, who launched WVCF with fellow HBS alumna Edith Pripas Dorsen (MBA/MPA 1985) and with the support of female HBS classmates. Women helping women is important to Dodi, as is her firm’s fiduciary responsibility to investors. Dodi’s past entrepreneurial experiences as cofounder of MTV Europe and CEO of AOL’s Entertainment Asylum keep her focused on the bottom line. She points to research that indicates gender diversity significantly increases profitability, productivity, and return on investment.
With more than 70 percent of consumer dollars worldwide being controlled by women, now is the time for them to explore business opportunities. “My advice to female entrepreneurs is to show up and speak up!” says Dodi. “If you do not participate, why are you there to begin with?”