The Inspirational Woman Project: Vicki Saunders

10/05/2016 05:11 pm ET Updated Mar 30, 2017

The Inspirational Woman Project believes that every woman is inspirational. It’s our mission to tell their stories.

Vicki Saunders is the founder of SheEO. She is an entrepreneur, award-winning mentor, advisor to the next generation of change makers and leading advocate for entrepreneurship as a way of creating positive transformation in the world. 

What is your favorite thing about being a woman?

{Saunders} I think women look at the world differently than men. For decades that felt like a burden to carry in a world designed mostly by men. Now I see it as a great asset that gives me an innovation advantage at a time when we need to rethink and redesign almost every part of our world.

What is your mantra?

{Saunders} Everything is broken... what a great time to be alive. (I make a practice of flipping negatives into positives.)

What are you creating right now?

{Saunders} I am co-creating a new economic model with thousands of women who are radically generous. SheEO calls for up to 1000 women per community to contribute $1,000 each to loan to 10 local female-led ventures at zero percent interest. That money is paid back over 5 years then loaned out to a new group of entrepreneurs. Our goal is to reach 1000 communities by 2020 which means 1 million women raising $1billion annually to finance 10,000 entrepreneurs who have game changing ventures to create a Better World.

Who inspires you?

{Saunders} I am inspired by anyone who has an idea and takes the brave step forward to make it a reality in the world. I am in awe of creators, makers, intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs every day. It's a deeply freeing path to choose and it's rarely the easy route.

What's the one thing you want to tell the women who read this?

{Saunders} Surround yourself with radically generous women who have your back, who support you through the tough times, who are there to celebrate your wins and who encourage you to go for it.

Why are you passionate about changing the funding options?

{Saunders} This is my life's passion. Women are being called forth to help us design a better world and there are millions of women with incredible ideas that can help us get to a better world. They need our funding, our support, and our encouragement to grow their innovations. With only 4% of venture capital going to women we leave the innovations of 50% of the population on the sidelines and that is not good for society. We need a more balanced world so we can all thrive. A world designed only by men has not served us well. It's time for a new model. #theladiesarecoming

Follow The Inspirational Woman Project on Twitter @BriSeeley and Instagram @BriSeeley.

To hear more from Vicki, listen to her episode on #BeAmplified: the podcast at bit.ly/beamplified {iTunes} or bit.ly/beamplifiedandroid {Google Play}.

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