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More Angel Investors Are Investing in Women. Here's How to Find Angels and What They Look for

Angel investors are wealthy individuals who invest in startup businesses in return for equity in the business. While in the past, the angel investing game was male-dominated, today more women are becoming angel investors, and more women entrepreneurs are getting angel funding.

In 2013, 20 percent of companies that got angel investment were women-led, reports the Center for Venture Research. That sounds low, but it’s a record number, continuing a surge in growth of angel investments in 2012. One reason angel investment in women-led businesses is on the rise is that people tend to invest in companies led by their own gender—and more women angels are getting into the game.

Are angels right for you? Typically, angels invest in early-stage or startup companies. Their investments can range from $10,000 to $1 million, but are generally in the $25,000 to $100,000 range for individual investors and $250,000 to $750,000 for angel groups, the CVR reports. Angels seek companies with potential for growth. They often want to get personally involved in the company by sitting on the board of directors or otherwise providing guidance and mentorship. This assistance can be just as valuable as the financial investment for a fledgling entrepreneur.

The Angel Capital Association (ACA) and the Angel Resource Institute (ARI) are two places to find angel networks and individual angels throughout the U.S. and Canada.

If you’re looking for angels who focus on women-led businesses exclusively, check out Astia Angels, Belle Capital USA  and Golden Seeds, three nationwide angel networks targeting women-led businesses.

Look for angel groups or investors in your local area, since your angels will want to meet in person and continue a relationship with your business. Also look for angel groups or investors with expertise in your industry and, to boost your chances even further, look for angel groups with women members or individual women investors.

Once you’ve identified some angels, use your contacts to learn as much as you can about them. Try to find contacts who can introduce you to the angel personally (this is always better than a cold call), or look for local events where businesses get the opportunity to pitch angel groups in person.

Just as with any investment pitch, be prepared with a well-thought-out business plan, financial statements and projections, and goals for what you will do with the investment and how it will benefit your business and the angel. Also show that you’re willing to take guidance from the angel and make them a part of your business. With the right approach, you could find your business taking wing, thanks to an angel investor.