Episode 52: Vicki Saunders

Screw the System, Make Your Own

Vicki Saunders SheEO

What if you could receive a 0 percent small business loan from a group of SheEOs? It’s called #radicalgenerosity, created to focus on time-sensitive world issues through entrepreneurship. That’s what today’s guest, Vicki Saunders, has dedicated her life to by founding the transgressive SheEO.

With a society more focused on the financial return of an investment than on its environmental or social return, Saunders has vowed to blow up the system and press the reset button. SheEO has rejected the traditional business loan paradigm and created a community of mostly female “activators” who collectively fund loans at a 0 percent interest rate.

How can this possibly work, you may ask? Saunders will tell you how simple it is on this episode of SheVentures.

Key Moments

3:57 — Growing up on a farm, Saunders embraced the idea of a community working for a common end goal. Plus, her father’s successful venture — haunted hayrides — showed Saunders how to think outside the box.

7:35 — Saunders describes how Prague in the days after the fall of the Berlin Wall profoundly influenced her. 

11:29 — When all the other financial systems in place are made up, why not just make up your own? Saunders discusses why she modeled SheEO in a new and unorthodox way.

16:46 — Can men become “activators” for SheEO, and what kind of products benefit from SheEO’s funding?

18:44 — What commonality do SheEO-funded entrepreneurs have?

21:20 — Even if not chosen to receive full SheEO funding, the unique platform provides other ways for you to get help your business needs.

26:35 — Saunders tells listeners how to become an activator and what a membership in the SheEO community brings.

30:39 — With women set to inherit an ever-increasing percentage of the world’s wealth, Saunders advises how to make sure our voices are heard when that time comes. 

35:01 — By March 2020, SheEO will have funded 70 new ventures. To date, only one has failed, a far cry from the often-cited stat that venture capitalists expect 9/10 startups to fail, while they search for one unicorn to make up for the other losses. Saunders discusses how SheEO businesses thrive.

38:20 — Saunders has some advice for budding female founders: “Are you creating something that’s needed?”