Barbara Boxer, a practicing attorney in Milwaukee, knows just how difficult it can be for women entrepreneurs to raise money. She ran her own mail-order medical supply company for 20 years before selling it in 1990, and now many of her clients are women who own businesses. After participating in a conference for women trying to raise funding, the 56-year-old decided to take matters into her own hands. Last summer, Boxer started Women Angels, a group of women investors that focuses on women-owned businesses in the Midwest. Now the group’s 22 members are getting ready to make their first investments. They will put $150,000 to $500,000 in each of two companies, one in biotech and one in transportation.
Boxer is part of a small but growing legion of women angel investors, who are using their own money to back young companies. Often, those are companies led by women.