Known as a "rainmaker" for good, Susan McPherson will share her experiences in this AMA as an entrepreneur, driver of social impact, angel investor (in women-led start-ups) and the secret to her success.

Susan McPherson
Mar 19, 2018

As the founder and CEO of McPherson Strategies, a NY-based consultancy that focuses on helping brands and other organizations have positive social impact, Susan will share how she landed in this world of "social good and corporate responsibility (CSR)" and why such work is now so vitally important.  She will also showcase how she as been a champion of women both domestically and overseas through her funding women-led start-ups, advocating on behalf of refugees and serving on a variety of nonprofit boards.  You can follow Susan on Twitter and Instagram at @susanmcp1.

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Do you choose to help only women start-ups or have you also helped start-ups established by men?
Mar 26, 5:16PM EDT0

At this point in time, I only angel invest in women-led startups since such a disproportionate amount of funds go to their male counterparts.

Mar 26, 6:14PM EDT1
Have you ever felt discriminated against as a woman in this type of business?
Mar 26, 4:38PM EDT0

Which type of business are you asking?

Mar 26, 6:14PM EDT0
What is your thought about women starting zero-investment businesses? Is it actually possible and what is the possibility of success?
Mar 26, 12:08PM EDT0

Hi Chebby_182820 - 

I actually started my company with zero-investment so it is definitely possible. However, my business is consulting, so not capital intensive, much depends on the type of business you are launching.


Mar 26, 12:11PM EDT1
What is the status of feminism today? What role do the feminists have in creating awareness about female leadership?
Mar 26, 5:23AM EDT0
What had helped you in building up your confidence levels? From which age, did you start feeling confident about yourself?
Mar 26, 3:46AM EDT0
What are the commonly read blogs or news sites for a tech startup?
Mar 25, 10:33PM EDT0

I would recommend Recode, Techcrunch, Axios, Wired, Gizmodo, Fast Company and Tech Insider.

Mar 26, 8:41AM EDT0
What is the most challenging part about serving on the board of UNHCR as a woman? How do you manage to overcome the challenge?
Mar 25, 10:19PM EDT0

Good morning, Rpublic025,

I serve on the board of USA for UNHCR and we have several women who serve with me. Our executive director is a woman at all, so I have not faced difficulties as a woman joining such a board. 

Mar 26, 8:40AM EDT1
What are some of the difficulties do you face while conducting virtual meetings with your remote employees? Is there any negative side to remote working?
Mar 25, 10:08PM EDT1

Hi Toma,

Working can be challening when the entire team is remote, but if you have trust in their abilities and their commitment, it can work quite well. I would rather pay people higher fees than pay rent!

Mar 25, 10:11PM EDT1
Why do you think that female-led companies are not getting many funding opportunities? How could this gap be bridged?
Mar 25, 8:43PM EDT0
What have you found the most rewarding about setting up McPherson Strategies?
Mar 23, 5:00PM EDT0

Hi Jaime,

The work we do is so incredibly rewarding and meaningful. Additionally, I love hiring people who are passionate about social good and positive impact.

Mar 23, 8:58PM EDT1
How do you reconcile your philosophy of a great leader with the corporate structures that pit staff against each other for promotions and pay rises?
Mar 22, 5:26PM EDT0

this question really doesn't apply to me or my company at all, lol. Thanks tho. I am not a corporation and don't have a corporate structure or have "staff". I contract other mermaids and I pay them more than anyone else in the industry. Share the success and the wealth!

Mar 23, 2:24PM EDT1

what are some of the factors that inspire you to angel-invest?

Mar 22, 1:52PM EDT0

Hi Raina,

Because nothing is more satisfying to helping a woman realize her dreams and create jobs at the same time!


Mar 23, 2:08PM EDT0
As someone championing women, would you say that you prefer hiring women in your company over men?
Mar 21, 9:38PM EDT0

Definitely have no preference as we want to find the absolute best employees for the work at hand. In complete candor in the last year, 75% of our applicants have been women.

Mar 21, 9:56PM EDT1
Has it been practical for you as an entrepreneur to incorporate green business practices and in what ways is McPherson Strategies a green business?
Mar 21, 8:40PM EDT0

Hi Bethf,

My entire team works remotely which cuts down on driving/commuting to work as well as the time lost in doing so. Also, on the HR front, those with children can work the hours that make sense given their schedules.  Most of our meetings are held online so cutting down on air travel as well. 

Mar 21, 8:54PM EDT1
Growing up, did anything spark your interest in female-ran companies? Which female-owned company is your favorite and why?
Mar 21, 11:46AM EDT0

There are so many I love! @TheMuse, @Hint Water, @The Wing, @The Riveter, @HotBreadKitchen, @Apolitcal @GoldBean and more.  My desire to fund women-run businesses is because less than 4 percent of venture financing funds such companies.

Mar 21, 6:03PM EDT1
Which country do you feel is most in need of services to empower their female population? Which countries have you visted in order to help women?
Mar 21, 5:31AM EDT0

So many countries around the world would benefit from women's greater contribution in their economies. Having visited Afghanistan, I witnessed firsthand how challenging it was for girls to not only secure an education but be an equal contributor to the economics of the country. These stats from UN Women will give a you a good picture.

Mar 21, 8:12AM EDT1
What is one of the best experiences or memories you have from assisting women in their endeavors?
Mar 21, 2:46AM EDT0

So many, but a recent one allowed me to help provide $100k in funding for a new start-up nonprofit supporting resettled refugees led by a dear friend.  I serve on the board of USA for UNHCR and we were able to present her with a seed grant to launch a pilot program.

Mar 21, 8:06AM EDT1
As an angel investor, are you interested in any traditional business ideas? Yes or No? And why?
Mar 20, 11:37PM EDT0

I only invest in women-led startups, but yes, I could be open to traditional business ideas as long as they were meaningful and showed a solid future.

Mar 21, 8:13AM EDT0
Can you share a success story of one of the brands or organizations you’ve helped out at McPherson Strategies?
Mar 20, 5:26PM EDT0
What are some of the successful outside resources you used when launching McPherson Strategies?
Mar 20, 11:24AM EDT0

My network was the largest "outside" resource I tapped when launching the business along with all the main social media platforms: Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and even Instagram.

Mar 21, 8:14AM EDT1
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