You Are The Newest Angel Investor

New SEC rules mean The 97% can decide what to do with our own money. Imagine that!

US Securities and Exchange (SEC) laws allow only 3% of the wealthiest people in the US to invest in Saint Harridan, or any other non-publicly-traded company. Yes. You read that right. It’s not a typo.

Imagine that person who is among the wealthiest 3%. Now you can imagine why I get questions like, “Why do women want to dress like men?” And, why it’s such a giant distance between that question and him writing a check.

All of this is about to change on May 16. On that date, companies like Saint Harridan will be allowed to raise money from the people who actually care that we exist.

But there is more to my excitement about these changing laws than the opportunity for Saint Harridan to raise money. If every startup that gets funded has to convince someone (or several someones) among the 3% that their idea is worthy — only ideas wealthy people like get funded.

I am not demonizing them, but what the wealthiest people in America value, and what most people value — probably not the same thing. We don’t have the same concerns, the same experiences — very little about my day-to-day life mirrors that of someone in this category.

This problem is true for Saint Harridan, but also for the vast majority of other companies as well. From 2012 to 2014, less than one half of one percent of all venture capital deals went to Black women. And, these few Black women raised an average of $36,000 each as opposed to white male founders who raised an average of $1.3 MILLION. Holy shit.

Women, in general, receive less than 15% of VC deals.

To my knowledge, there hasn’t been a study on how many masculine-presenting women get funding. None?

Which helps you understand why it’s such a challenge for me to raise money. And why, since 2012 (when the JOBS act passed), I have been holding my breath for the day when the SEC laws would change and regular, ordinary, not-wealthy people — the 97% — can invest in, and own a piece of our company.

Finally, as the 97%, we will be able to decide what is important, what is worthy, what deserves funding — instead of waiting for the 3% to do us a favor and add some diversity to their portfolios. (Can I get an ‘oh, please?’)

It gets even better. Ever heard of the idea that the people who take the biggest risks are afforded the biggest rewards? Facebook, Uber and AirB&B were once ideas that only those 3% could invest in. Even if you knew about those ideas, you could not have invested. The earliest investors in Uber made 2000x their original investment.

Investing in Startups is risky. Lots of them fail. But, when a giant swath of a country is disallowed from choosing how to invest their money — this is exactly how the rich get richer.

Get out your calendar and put a big red circle around May 16. This is the day when you will be able to own a piece of Saint Harridan, and/or any other company that speaks to your heart and your wallet. In the meantime, educate yourself on how to judge companies for your investment dollars. You can also learn more about the new crowdfunding laws.

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