Total investment in European Startups grew by 136% to €100 billion in 2021, according to IDC European Women in VC. However, women-founded startups raised only 1.8% of investment total in Europe. Firms with mixed founding teams took about 9.3% while male-founded companies took the rest of the 89% formed by men raised 89%.
Every year, the 19th of November is dedicated to celebrating the Day of the Entrepreneurial Woman, a day set aside to recognise the efforts of women in entrepreneurship. To commemorate this auspicious day, the High Commissioner for Spain Entrepreneurial Nation, the Telefónica Foundation, Wayra, Endeavor, and SpainCap gathered experts from across different sectors to discuss the challenges facing women, especially in innovative entrepreneurship.
During these sessions, the discussants deliberated on the reality faced by women in entrepreneurship when it comes to attracting investment and raising capital to fund their innovative ideas. They also touched on the possible ways to approach the gender gap that continues to widen within the ecosystem.
Speaking at the conference, Francisco Polo, High Commissioner for Spain’s Entrepreneurial Nation, called for “aligning all efforts necessary to end the gender gap in the sector before the end of this decade.”
He pressed the need for urgent action in dealing with what he considers both a matter of social justice and also of pure strategic importance. According to him, when women are sidelined, it means cutting off half the population and also robs the region as a whole of the full talent pool it needs to have better more equipped startups.
International studies have revealed that companies with a more notable female headcount often end up with better all-round results. “If what we want is to see the sector grow, the commitment to women’s talent is an absolute necessity,” he said.
“From campus 42, we have a much higher percentage of women than the European average. We must boost entrepreneurship in rural areas, through digitization and volunteers who support and mentor. Our philosophy is to work in teams with public and private agents,” said Pablo Gonzalez, Head of Knowledge and Digital Culture, at Espacio Foundation Telefónica.
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