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Why We Need To Support Female-Owned Businesses With Sarah Dusek Of Enygma Ventures

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How are we to address the blatant inequality during our time? One of the things we can do is to support female-owned businesses. Corinna Bellizzi’s guest in this episode is Sarah Dusek, the founder of Enygma Ventures. Sarah laments that only 2% out of 100% of all the venture capital funding goes to women-led businesses in the US. As women, it’s our duty to champion one another. Do you want to know how you can help balance the scale? If you say “YES,” you’d love to tune in this episode. Enjoy!

About Sarah Dusek

Sarah Dusek is a venture capitalist and co-founder of Enygma Ventures, a venture capital fund. She invests in women-led businesses in Southern Africa, creates solutions to wealth disparity, and provides access to capital for women. In 2017, after successfully selling her company, Under Canvas, for more than $100 million, Sarah launched Enygma Ventures.

Connect with Sarah:

Guest LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/sarah-dusek-0b630ab/

Guest Website: www.enygmaventures.com/

Show Notes:

00:11:43: Traditional VCs vs. Enygma Ventures

00:16:53: Funding Statistics For Female-Led Business In The US

00:26:56: We Need Collaboration With All People

00:32:45: Connecting Different Companies

00:37:40: What Makes A Great Investor

00:46:23: Money Is A Byproduct Of Doing Something Great

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Why We Need To Support Female-Owned Businesses With Sarah Dusek Of Enygma Ventures

We are going to talk about something near and dear to my heart, and that is the need to have great funding for ventures that are female-led and minority-led. To do that, I’m going to be joined by Sarah Dusek. Sarah Dusek is a venture capitalist and Cofounder of Enygma Ventures, a venture capital fund. She invests in women-led businesses in Southern Africa, creates solutions to wealth disparity, and provides access to capital for women. In 2017, after successfully selling her company Under Canvas for more than $100 million, Sarah launched Enygma Ventures.

Sarah, welcome to the show.

Thanks so much, Corinna. It’s great to be here.

It’s great to have you here. Let’s get right into it. I have a couple of questions. One that stood out to me to start our conversation was simply this. I would like to know what it was like that first time you had to pitch somebody for money to support your idea. I figured by talking about that will help our audience understand why you have chosen to launch Enygma Ventures.

I had no idea about how to pitch and write a deck. We had all heard about this idea of building business plans. You would go to the bank with your business plan. That is as much info as I had about this whole idea of raising money for your business. I quickly learned that building a business plan to give to a bank is very different than pitching your business to a potential investor. I was privileged enough to have encountered a female VC who stayed at one of our camps in the very early years of our business.

She said to me, “This is a great concept. You should start pitching to VCs to see if you could raise more capital.” I had no idea what she meant and what that looked like. She was kind enough to start to give me some other parameters around how to do that and build a pitch that the investors would expect to see. If she had never done that, I would have had no idea what should go in that. The conclusion of that is there is hope if you don’t know how to do that, for discovering what that looks like and the things that are critical to include. It was a scary journey because it was using language I already was unfamiliar with and terms and concepts that were not on my radar at all.

Having been through my MBA course load, we had plenty of chances to practice and, in some cases, even brought in five heads of VCs. The class was separated into groups, we tend to pitch our idea and get feedback, and there would be a winning venture. It’s all funny, money and fake but it was powerful because it helped us understand what they would be looking for and the things that you would leave out like what founders sometimes think is important but is noise to them. It’s such an interesting thing.

I also believe that many people don’t understand the resources that are available to them. Several universities that have business centers often have accelerator programs for their graduates even if they didn’t go to the business school. They could have a degree in Anthropology like I did. There are accelerator portions at UC Santa Cruz where I went for my undergrad that I didn’t know about because I hadn’t gone to business school, and a business school didn’t teach me those things.

I have those in my back pocket. I understand if I’m ready to go get money from venture capital and the basics of what I would need to do to get there. Who knows if I would be successful out of the gates? I might have to pitch to 30 different companies or vendors because that’s often how it goes. We don’t necessarily get the tools we need when we are getting started.

CMBB 67 | Female Owned Businesses
Female Owned Businesses: We empower, educate, mentor, coach, and invest in women-led businesses that are highly scalable and impactful in their nations.

Knowledge is power. If you have the knowledge of how to do something, you are partway there. Understanding the rules of how something works is a powerful way to arm yourself to enable you to achieve what you are trying to achieve.

Having been through an exit now, you had that $100 million in your back pocket and were able to go figure out what you were going to do next. You did put a portion of that into this VC. I would like for you to talk about a few of the companies that you are funding and where they are in the process as a relatively new venture.

I should clarify that when someone sells a company for a lot of money, they rarely end up with all the validation of the company that they sold it for. There are usually a lot of other people in the mix. It’s not just you. To answer your question, we have launched a venture capital fund on the basis of selling our company. We are investing in female entrepreneurs in Africa.

Our big focus is how do we address inequality as an issue of our time? We are focused on inequality in the sense of gender, race, and geography inequality. For us, access to capital is critical for trying to level the playing field. Who gets access to capital? What opportunities do people have? How do you move forward? How do we diversely move forward by how we deploy our capital? Where our money flows determines what we build and how we shape our world.

I was speaking to a gentleman, John Lefebvre. He was able to sell his company for a fair amount of money and had 1/3 of $1 billion as a result of that. He ended up having to give a fair amount of it back to the government for a number of reasons. That’s a story for another day. He spent something like $50 million making donations to companies because he wanted to do good with his money, which is incredible. As it stands, you are still seeking a few partners to be part of this venture fund. Is that correct?

Yes. We have been actively seeking great partners as we have been starting to deploy capital in Africa. We have almost deployed about $10 million and done fifteen companies. We started investing at the very beginning of 2020. We are actively engaged in empowering, educating, mentoring, coaching, and investing in women-led businesses that are highly scalable and impactful in their nations.

Tell us about one of those companies. What made you seek to invest in them? What stood out to you? If anything, anybody reading might get something out of that and choose to seek the right partner to help them grow their business as well.

They all excite me in different ways for different reasons. One of the ones that brings to mind first is a company in Zambia. We’ve got two companies in Zambia but one of those companies is seeking to become a neo bank or a new version of a digital bank to create access to banking services for the unbanked. Many of you may or may not know but Africa has huge numbers of people who are still considered to be unbanked, which doesn’t mean they don’t have any money. It means they aren’t using or have access to banking services.

I’m trying to create opportunities for more people to access banking services and support banking activities, money transfers, savings, loans, and access to capital is another piece of the puzzle for them. One of the companies we have invested in is actively deploying personal and business loans and creating savings and loan products for people who are typically underserved and have little access to capital. That’s exciting.

Knowledge is power. If you have the knowledge of how to do something, you’re partway there.

The statistics are pretty stark, too. There are several countries around the world where it’s difficult for women to get funding or even bank accounts. There are laws that impede that. I’m unfamiliar with the laws in Zambia. In my opening, I had said in South Africa, you are lending or funding companies more broadly.

Across Southern and Eastern Africa is our focus.

When I read South Africa, I was specifically thinking of only the country of South Africa. It’s a good clarification point. As far as how you brought this company through the process, did you bring them under your arm and show them what they would need to prepare? Was it something where you receive the standard deck from a set of companies and review them like that? I wonder if it’s different than how other VCs are running things.

It’s different. A traditional VC in the US, for example, would typically only look at a deck if they had an introduction from somebody. You had maybe networked with a person or you might get an introduction from someone you know who would introduce you to somebody you know. Getting your deck in front of a VC in the US is challenging.

One of the hard pieces about that for me as a female Founder was I felt like if you weren’t networked, belonging to the right social spheres or coming from a particular educational background like you had access to VCs visiting your MBA class, for example, you would be unlikely to get in front of the right people.

One of the things that I felt so strongly about with raising my own funding company was that we’ve got to democratize access. It shouldn’t be about where you went to school, what socioeconomic background you are from or which country you live in as to whether your country gets a lot of venture capital or not. We should be creating access on the basis of brilliant ideas by brilliant people. Brilliance should be the criteria, not whether you have had a particular educational or financial background.

One of the first things we did when we launched the Enygma was that we held open applications, which means you don’t have to know me, how you networked with me or get an introduction from someone who knows me. You can create an app and go on our website. We hold application periods three times a year and you can apply.

You have to answer 4 or 5 basic questions about your business, which gives us an overview. Show us your website. If you’ve got a deck, that’s great. If you don’t have a deck, we will help you build one. We quickly realized that we need to help people learn the language of the system because there’s a system, a way this works, and specific things that venture capitalists look and are looking for.

If we want to see diversity in the mix, we’ve got to open up the floodgates to allow people more opportunities to understand how they can play the game, too. Over the last couple of years, we have been very active with helping people understand the metrics that matter, create decks that tell great stories, and understand how to think about their businesses differently. How do you go from thinking about building a small business to thinking about, “How do I build a vehicle that’s scalable and could become quite big?”

CMBB 67 | Female Owned Businesses
Female Owned Businesses: We should create access on the basis of brilliant ideas by brilliant people.

It’s important. I’m sitting here thinking about what I was exposed to in graduate school. It’s a formula even when you are talking to some of the bigger funds like Sierra for example. If they get submitted 200 different presentations or decks to consider for a meeting, and that’s considered for a meeting, they seriously look at 5 out of those 200. That’s a small number. A later cohort but somebody I connected with within a few classes, Amit Jamuar, started this fund or company called ConexUp.

It’s specifically designed to help people navigate all of the challenges that they might face trying to see VCs and get the funding they need. In his mind, the founders need to have some power, voice, and guidance. Too often, they end up either accepting a deal that’s not good for them and will end in them essentially losing long-term or they will not get the funding that they need to see the success that they would be able to if they had the proper funding. The fact that there is a company like that starting in Silicon Valley tells you there’s a problem already.

It’s called Shark Tank for me.

“Come in here. The water is nice. There might be sharks in it.” That’s the feeling we all have. Let’s talk about the funding that these female-led companies get versus don’t get. Let’s look at the United States as an example. What percentage of female-led businesses generally get funded in the US? Do you have any idea about what those statistics are?

Unfortunately, I do. It has been about 2% and barely budged an inch. 2% out of 100% of all the venture capital funding is going to women-led businesses in the US.

It’s maddening. I had hoped that it had moved.

That’s the scary thing. It hasn’t moved. There was a meme going on earlier in 2021. It was when all the Robinhood stuff was happening with GameStop. There was a note saying that more funding went into that one company than had gone to all female founders in the entire 2020. It was crazy. It brings home how little funding women are attracting and getting, which invariably for me means that it influences the world we are building.

If you think about the backbone of what builds our nations, it’s small businesses. Where money flows, what we build, and where venture capital goes are influential. You think about all the tech advantages that have happened over the years. My kids can’t imagine a world without an iPad or an iPhone, for example. Social media is another one.

Where we determine money is going to flow is going to determine the world that we build. For many decades prior to this moment, we have had a very unequal distribution of where funding flows. This means we are only going to solve certain problems, tackle certain challenges, and innovate in particular ways because of a particular demographic with a particular viewpoint and vision of all of our futures.

Only 2% out of 100% of all the venture capital funding goes to women-led businesses in the US.

For me, it’s critical that we think about investing diversity, and not just gender but race and geography also. People going from different places with different eyes and backgrounds from different races are going to solve different problems. We collectively need to solve problems that move us all forward, which motivates us to think about how we invest and where we allow capital to flow.

I’m still reeling over the 2%. I had hoped it at least gone up a couple of points. It’s almost like I have blinders on about it, too, because I would prefer to think that we are in a different world, where there are more female leaders in CEO seats yet, only 4% of Fortune 500 companies are led by women. These are the statistics that make it very apparent that we have a long way to come.

I was shocked by a new statistic that I had never realized until earlier in 2021, which was only 24 female founders have ever taken their company public in the US. In the history of companies going public, that’s how many women have taken companies public. We’ve got a long way to go and still got a lot of work to do in terms of moving the needle and thinking about what will move the needle to enable women to get a seat at the table.

What’s so interesting is the statistics support female-led organizations. Generally speaking, women-led organizations tend to be more profitable and have a lower turnover rate. That means that they are able to retain employees for longer. If you are looking at profitability and employee retention as two markers for the potential success of a company, why would you not also seek out more females in head leadership positions? Sadly, a lot of it still has to do with the fact that we have wombs.

These are the things I hear from people even when we have a presidential candidate running for office, “I don’t want to vote for a woman in the office. She will have her finger on the nuclear arsenal. What if she had a bad PMS day or something like that?” I consider it shocking every time I hear these things but it seems like it’s par for the course. I try to be hopeful and think, “We keep putting one foot in front of the other. We fund or support more women-led businesses.”

It means that in some cases, I even seek out women-led businesses more so than I would with men, even if there’s a male-led company that does the job a little bit better. From a personal perspective, I’m more likely to want to give my business to a woman-led organization because I’m aware of these statistics. Thankfully, a lot of great companies are starting to come out of the ether. I’m using Mighty Networks to run a community, and it’s female-led. They have a female CEO and Cofounder. They are backed by venture capital and emerging in Silicon Valley.

There’s another example in the podcasting community where I brought my show over to their platform, and that’s Podetize. They are primarily female-owned, and the CEO is female. I see that this challenge is something that we have to continue to work through. We have to think about the choices we are making. If we want to see a world where there is true equality, then we have to also support businesses that are female and minority-owned and led to move in that direction. Otherwise, we get stuck and will make little progress. It’s like, “One step forward, two steps back,” to quote Paula Abdul.

It’s also coming to the realization of why inequality is a problem. Many of us consider ourselves privileged or don’t consider ourselves privileged but are. I do consider myself very privileged. It’s understanding why inequality is not good for us all and what harm we are doing to ourselves long-term, and for my children, their great-grandchildren, and their children. How are we building our world? Why does it matter? Bear in mind, we are not talking about flipping the tables here or men only getting 2% of venture capital. We are trying to level the playing field.

We are not building a world where only White men rule and thrive. That’s unfortunately where we are at. We are woefully aware of how perilously at threat our world is from climate change. Sustainability has never been more important, and yet we continue to hurtle in the direct action that will only see us implode. We have had the unfortunate disaster of dealing with a pandemic, which has hurt and harmed people of color, lower demographics, and social status even more. We keep seeing more variants popping up.

CMBB 67 | Female Owned Businesses
Female Owned Businesses: Championing each other is powerful.

How do we build so that we are building a world that is viable for everyone, sustainable, and isn’t continuing us on a path towards ultimate doom and gloom? That’s what the fight for inequality is about. It’s not just that women are fed up with washing dishes, looking after children, and changing diapers. That isn’t it. We still want to have children, raise families, and care about looking after homes. None of those things changed. For me, it’s about how we are building a better world and what that looks like.

As a mom of two boys, it’s not like I want to see them fail over somebody else. I don’t want that for anybody. I want them to look at the women in their lives as equals to them. If we don’t build a society that looks at women equally, then the chance of them getting there, even if I raise them right and give them all the right guidance along the way, is affected by how their community sees women, too. We don’t raise children alone.

More and more, we need to think about the way that we are constructing society. If we have constructed a society that only looks at what the end dollar is going to be and the profitability that runs the business from a very extraction-oriented perspective, then we run out of resources and suddenly, we aren’t going to have what we need to build the tools we need or have a thriving economy and environment at the same time.

We are already seeing the problems associated with having run things from a very extractive perspective for generations. The types of solutions that we need are going to come from collaboration with all people and genders. Bringing more opportunities to people who come from different cultures will be critical for that, too. Even a lot of the solutions that we are seeing from a climate perspective are coming from indigenous communities around the globe.

Elevating these voices and ensuring that people have equal opportunities is critical. I put you in touch with Lydiah Kemunto Bosire from 8B Education Investments. I’ve got to interview her in one of my earlier episodes. She was in my first 10 or 15. She is working to bring equal access to a world-class education for the people of Africa. I wonder if you have had a chance to connect with her yet.

We haven’t chatted yet, but I’m very excited to chat with her. I’m headed back to Africa. When I’m back on the continent, I’m looking forward to having a phone call with her.

She’s near Cornell, so she’s in the States. Having a chance to connect and build more bridges between people who are working towards the same thing is something that I’m personally all about. I hope that you two get a chance to connect and potentially collaborate as well. If we, as people and as a community, start to look at where we can reach a handout and raise with one another, we will achieve more because that’s my core belief. Together we can achieve so much more and push for change. If we are all working in silos, then the work can’t get done completely in silos.

It takes a village to make anything happen.

What is next for you, specifically with Enygma Ventures? What do you have planned on the horizon?

The pandemic has hurt and harmed people of color, lower demographics, and social status more.

We have an open call for applications open. I am excited to look at a new cohort in January 2022 of entrepreneurs trying to make great and big things happen. The exciting part of always looking at decks and new companies is seeing the vast amount of problems and challenges people are trying to tackle and the privileged position of being able to go, “Let’s back this one, and try and solve this problem with them.” I’m excited to dig in and see what other people are seeing and see the world through their eyes.

One of the most exciting things about doing work in Africa has been seeing the world through other people’s eyes and a non-Western eye in particular. I personally feel like I have learned so much. I was joking with one of our investees. We have invested in her company that supplies Black hair products. She has all sorts of hair extensions, some wigs, and also Black hair products. I now feel like I know so much more about Black hair. I thought I understood curly hair.

I had no clue about how Black hair functions, how you attach things, the problems Black women have with managing their hair, and what’s deemed socially acceptable styles and not in certain places and times. I was like, “This is a whole new world out here I would have never known about.” There is so much to be discovered by understanding the world’s problems through other people’s eyes. That’s always super exciting as we start to dig into some of the solutions that people are coming up with for problems that affect their communities, cities, and nations.

You mentioned something interesting. You referred to this group of people who will be seeking capital as a cohort. That implies community and that you connect them together. Is that something that’s a part of your practice? Do you connect the different companies that you are investing in together?

Yes, very much so. For me and them, that has been one of the most joyful things about investing. My experience as a female founder was very lonely. It wasn’t until quite late in my entrepreneurship journey that I met other female entrepreneurs trying to do crazy things like I was. Our portfolio companies come together every single month. We have a group learning session together where they can all join. We talk about topics that are relevant for them and bring guest speakers and teachers on certain items.

They are all at the same stage, struggling with the same things and trying to solve the same problems even though their businesses will be completely different. It’s the value of being connected, journeying with each other, and being able to ask each other questions. One company might be further ahead in one thing than another thing. They have their own WhatsApp group that they chat about.

Essentially, you have created cohorts of the investment community. Every time you go through a season, you connect them to one another, and then they are able to develop strong relationships with other people building different companies in competing spaces but likely not.

We hosted our first in-person retreat in September 2021. It was so exciting to have them all together in person because we have all been living in a very virtual world. Having them and spending time together was amazing. The energy in the room and enthusiasm was quite extraordinary. It’s this idea of, “If she can do it, I can do it. If I can do it, she can do it.” Championing each other is super powerful.

Are you personally on the board of any of the companies that you are helping to fund?

CMBB 67 | Female Owned Businesses
Female Owned Businesses: Finding investors is a bit like getting married. You’re in it for the long haul together.

Yes. Someone from my team is on every board of the companies that we funded. I’m on about eight boards so far, which is more than enough. The number is rising. We regularly meet monthly and usually quarterly as a larger group.

We uncovered one of the aspects of your venture capital firm that is different from many of them. That whole cohort perspective is great.

It has been a real blessing for everyone, including us, because there are so many unexpected advantages of learning when being in a community. We all know when we are in a community of some kind, there are lots of unforeseen benefits of being in a relationship with other human beings on a journey similar to yours. That has been very powerful. For women, because we tend to be more relationally driven, it’s a valuable tool for feeling like you are connected, you are not alone, and that other people are on the same journey that you are on, and you can journey with them.

That has been a huge differentiator but I would love it not to be a differentiator because I would love it to be normal and be the way that investors interact. It is about trying to understand what is happening and financially happening in the business but there’s so much more to it in terms of what we hope will drive ultimate success and breakthroughs for our companies.

I imagine that the experience was anathema to what you had when you were funded if you want to speak to that. It’s helpful. How many people have been through the whole thing?

It’s an unusual journey. Almost anyone you speak to will say they have had some great investors and not great investors. My experience is not unique. The interesting thing about what makes great investors great from an entrepreneurial perspective is simple. It is relational and supportive. I turned an early venture capitalist down when we first went out to raise capital, and I had taken months and maybe even a year to try and get a term sheet to the table. It was so painful but I remember we faced this horrible decision that no one ever wants to face because our business desperately needed capital.

At the same time, we knew that the guys that we’ve got a term sheet from felt like bullies. I mentioned the shark word but I knew I couldn’t be in a relationship with these people. My business was on the verge. I had no idea how I was going to payroll the next month. It’s that short of capital. We were on a knife’s edge, being offered a term sheet for $7 million and feeling like, “All our problems will be answered if we put some money in the pot. We will have better cashflow and great investors at the table.” I realized that finding investors is a bit like getting married. You are in it for the long haul together. It’s not a one-night stand or a quick fling. It’s a journey that you go on together.

The relational piece of investing is true for men and women, to be honest, but I know it’s especially true for women. I knew I couldn’t do a deal with people who felt like they were going to be beating me up every month. I was on my own, and I still had to keep delivering results and keep them happy. There’s this one gentleman who shall be nameless. While we were doing all the diligence and closing our deal, I called him up one day and said, “I’ve got a problem with one of our camps. I have a glamping company. We are opening a new location, and there has been a problem with the sale of the land. I’m sorting it out but I wanted to give you a heads up that there was a problem.”

He said to me, “That will be very bad for you if you don’t solve that. If you don’t fix that, this is not going to go well for you.” I could like barely understand what he was telling me because I was like, “I was calling you to tell you there was a problem but I’m sorting it out. I will deal with it but I needed to give you a heads up that something is going down.” He treated me like I was totally invisible and like I will be fired from my own company that he’s becoming a minority investor if this situation goes down. I was like, “What is happening here?” It was like this parallel universe. I was like, “This doesn’t make any sense.”

It takes a village to make anything happen.

It has started waking me up to the reality that investing is about more than cash. Bringing an investor into your company is more than having a healthy balance sheet. There are great investors and many who add value, are supportive, help expedite your journey, get you where you are supposed to go quicker. Also, it opens doors for you, helps make things happen, and provides expertise above and beyond, making your cash sheet position look better. The position that the investor is there to make money from you is a misnomer in every which way. Often, venture capital gets boiled down to that, and investors are about trying to make ten times on their money.

A great investor will invest a huge amount of themselves in you, not just by giving you cash but also by supporting, directing, and telling you hard truths at times, being supportive in the bad moments, and helping you get back up when it feels like all is lost. My experience has formed the investor that I hope I am now and will continue to become and encouraged me to get in the ring in the first place with realizing more women need to be at the table and making decisions about who gets capital and who doesn’t, and which problems get solved and which ones don’t. How can we enable more women to change the stat that only 2% are getting funded? How can we break through some of these ceilings and see more women become super successful? It matters.

It’s part of the reason I asked you that question about how many of the boards you were on. You have funded fifteen businesses, and you are on the boards of more than half of them. Personally, it speaks to your emotional and intellectual commitment to each of these companies as well and shows how you stand out. It’s to be commended, and I admire you and what you are doing with Enygma Ventures. Keep up the great work.

The emotional piece can be a flaw sometimes in terms of, “I don’t want any of my companies to fail.” The status of venture typically sees that many investments will fail. You end up with a few that are unicorns or do exceptionally well. That’s typically how venture investing works. 1 out of 10 might be a home run. The hard part about that for me is I don’t want any of my investments to fail. I want them all to succeed and have the opportunity to do extraordinarily well. That’s the hard part about investing.

I personally think you might see a different statistic because of how you are running things. I am sure time will tell, and I look forward to hearing of your first unicorn. Is there a question that you wish I had asked that I haven’t or some thought that you would like to leave our audience with?

What do you think your readers would like to know from me that you haven’t asked? Would there be a burning question that you think they might like to know the answer to that we haven’t touched on?

Anything over a few million dollars is extreme wealth. You have the assets you need to retire tomorrow. They may have got an inkling of why you are committed to this and staying at the hard work. The moment you are on eight boards, I can tell you are working full-time-plus. You are invested and doing a lot. Why?

The interesting thing that many people often think about is making a lot of money is it will be satisfying. I do like making money. There is something about achieving things that drives me. More than that, I learned a long time ago that money is a byproduct of doing something great and something. There are lots of things that you can do that are great that don’t have money as a byproduct.

The most satisfied and fulfilled people in the world are different than success. For me, your ultimate success is about living a life that feels fulfilling to you and being true to yourself and the things that are inside of you. All of us have things inside of us that drive us, we are passionate about, we love, and are meaningful to us.

CMBB 67 | Female Owned Businesses
Female Owned Businesses: A great investor will invest a huge amount of themselves in you, not just by giving you cash.

What drives me is feeling like I am on the journey to fulfill a greater mission. When our funds hit when we closed our deal with Under Canvas, I ended up with a stomach bug for my children. We’ve never got the chance to celebrate any moment of time. I’ve got up a few days later after having had the worst stomach bug of my life, went back to work, and carried on with the mission of our business. It’s not that it didn’t change anything because it changed lots of things but the core heart of what drives me to get out of bed every day did not change. It gave me more resources to do the things that I care about to try and make an impact.

The why is because I have a mission, and there’s a piece of my soul that is connected to wanting to be part of building a better world and moving us forward. We all have a role to play in that and get to contribute a teeny piece. If we all play our part, we make a better world. I truly believe it’s possible to drive change. We all have very discouraging, difficult, and dark days but I ultimately believe that I can make a difference. Getting up every day and choosing to be true to my inner compass will not only be fulfilling and satisfying but will also lead to living a happier life.

Thank you for that. That’s very inspirational. Ultimately, I have the same viewpoint. It’s refreshing to see consistently from people in the community I’m building that they care about the same things. I’m honored to have had the opportunity to tell your story here. Where can our community find out more about you and what you are doing with Enygma Ventures?

You can find me on LinkedIn. I’m a passionate networker on LinkedIn. I’m @SarahDusek on LinkedIn and also on our website, EnygmaVentures.com. We are right there.

Personally, I’m glad to be connected to you. I wish you all the best in your ventures in South and Eastern Africa. It’s a good place to funnel money.

Thank you so much. It has been a pleasure to be here. Thank you for building the community of people that you are building and connecting people who care about the same things. It’s fantastic.

Readers, it’s time for me to ask you something simple. It’s time to act. That action could be as small as sharing this show with someone in your community that you think needs to read it or going to Enygma Ventures and exploring what they are doing and the good work that they are putting into the world. To find more suggestions, you can always visit CareMoreBeBetter.com. Sign up for our newsletter and get that five tips and activist guide. As always, thank you for being a part of this community because together, we can do so much more. We can care more, and we can be better. Thank you.

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Guest

  • Sarah Dusek is a venture capitalist and co-founder of Enygma Ventures, a venture capital fund. She invests in women-led businesses in Southern Africa, creates solutions to wealth disparity, and provides access to capital for women. In 2017, after successfully selling her company, Under Canvas, for more than $100 million, Sarah launched Enygma Ventures. https://www.enygmaventures.com/

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