Julie Castro Abrams is the founder and Managing Partner of How Women Invest, an early stage venture firm focused on high growth, tech enabled, women-founded enterprises. The firm is a culmination of her lifetime of work propelling women founders to launch businesses and find success with training, capital, and networks.
As the CEO of How Women Lead, she is at the center of the movement to disrupt antiquated, unequal systems by propelling women into leadership roles and increasing opportunities for all women. Julie has been a driver of legislative initiatives and transformation in the U.S. and the state of California.
Today she advises the Small Business Administration (SBA), the White House, and Congress on national legislative initiatives to address economic opportunities for women. She serves on the California First Partners Project as an advisor regarding corporate board diversity. Julie serves as an advisor to financial services firms, including LENDonate and Nia Capital. She previously served as an advisor to Beneficial Bank and as the Governance Chair for the Association for Enterprise Opportunity and the Women’s Funding Network.
As an active investor and advisor to start-ups, and as the leader of the nation's largest microenterprise and microfinance organization for 11 years, Julie helped launch over 6,000 women into successful businesses. In her role as CEO of the Women’s Initiative for Self-Employment, an SBA-Certified Development Financial Institution, Julie drove innovation in the U.S. microenterprise and finance space. Investing in extensive research about the indicators of long-term success for women entrepreneurs, Julie brought deep intellectual prowess, extensive networks, and experience to this transformative venture firm.
The recipient of many accolades, she has been awarded the More Jobs Genius Award, the Morgan Stanley Innovation Award, Cisco’s Innovation in Technology Award, the League of Women Voters’ Women Who Could Be President Award, the Stevie Award for Best Non-Profit Executive, and the Commission on the Status of Women’s Human Rights Award. She has also been featured in six books, including “Scrappy Women in Business,” “Women of Courage,” and “The Missing Mentor,” and she has been featured in Fast Company’s video series “30 Second MBA.”