Embarking on an entrepreneurial journey can be overwhelming, especially for women entrepreneurs. In a recent episode of the Finance Cafe podcast, host Shannon had the opportunity to sit down with Bobbie Racette, the remarkable Founder and CEO of Virtual Gurus, a platform that connects organizations and entrepreneurs with highly skilled, underserved administrative workers. Bobbie’s story serves as an inspiration to women entrepreneurs, especially those who may face additional barriers. Let’s dive into their conversation and explore Bobbie’s journey, overcoming challenges, and her success in securing Series A funding while staying true to her business vision.
Empowering Underserved Talent: Virtual Gurus
Bobbie’s inspiration for Virtual Gurus came from her own experiences of facing rejection and limited opportunities. She recognized the need for a platform that provides work-from-home opportunities to traditionally underserved talent. Virtual Gurus aims to empower individuals who haven’t had the chance to work remotely before. Using AI-powered technology, the platform matches skilled workers with businesses and entrepreneurs, creating mutually beneficial partnerships.
Bobbie’s Journey as a Woman Entrepreneur
Bobbie shares her personal journey as an entrepreneur, battling imposter syndrome along the way. Despite not expecting to become a CEO, she overcame self-doubt and took charge of her company. Bobbie learned to assert her confidence and trust her own abilities, ultimately becoming the driving force behind Virtual Gurus’ success. Her story serves as an inspiration to women entrepreneurs who may struggle with similar challenges.
Overcoming Challenges: A Remarkable Funding Journey
Securing funding was not an easy journey for Bobbie. Prior to becoming the first Indigenous woman to close a Series A funding round, she faced 170 rejections. Despite the initial discouragement, Bobbie remained motivated. With the support of mentors and her own determination, she viewed each rejection as an opportunity for growth. Bobbie refused to accept vague responses and demanded genuine explanations for the rejections, using each “no” as fuel to propel her forward.
“It was really about not letting the no’s hurt me and really understanding that I need to overcome rejection.” – Bobbie Racette
Staying Motivated and Changing the Money Mindset
Bobbie discusses the significant barriers women face when accessing financial capital. She shares her personal struggles and the emotional roller coaster she experienced during her funding journey. Bobbie emphasizes the importance of confidence and resilience in staying motivated despite setbacks. With the support of her parents, who provided a strong foundation, she persevered and became the CEO she is today.
Understanding Funding Rounds: Seed, Series A, and Beyond
To shed light on the funding process, Bobbie explains the different rounds that startups typically go through. It starts with a family and friends round, seeking initial investments to kickstart the venture. As the company grows and achieves scalability, they move on to seed rounds, which involve a higher valuation. Successful startups then enter Series A funding, indicating substantial growth and revenue potential. Virtual Gurus closed their Series A round in less than six months, and they are now looking towards their Series B.
The Importance of Financial Literacy
Bobbie candidly shares his own journey of self-education when it comes to financial matters. Starting with little knowledge, she highlights the significance of understanding finance and its impact on business decisions. Acknowledging the role of a CFO and finance team in supporting her, Bobbie expresses the importance of continuously learning and adapting to the financial aspects of entrepreneurship. She emphasizes the need for financial education to be introduced earlier, as she believes that a solid understanding of finance would empower aspiring entrepreneurs and make the journey less daunting. To expand your financial literacy, check out our courses for women entrepreneurs: https://thefinancecafe.ca/women-entrepreneurs/
Bobbie Racette’s journey as an entrepreneur and the success of Virtual Gurus serve as an inspiration to women entrepreneurs. By overcoming imposter syndrome, persevering through rejections, and staying true to her vision, Bobbie has built a thriving platform that empowers workers and creates valuable partnerships. As she continues to expand her business and secure further funding, Bobbie remains a trailblazer for the tech industry and an advocate for inclusivity and empowerment. Her story showcases the possibilities for women entrepreneurs and encourages them to pursue their own dreams of success.