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How to Empower Women via Investment to Increase Innovation Finance Opportunities in Europe

On Wednesday 5th February, our CEO Jara Pascual organized and led the debate “How to Empower Women via Investment to Increase Innovation Finance Opportunities in Europe” in the European Parliament during the Innovation Summit together with K4I Forum in the European Parliament K4I , Knowco Collabwith and Business Angels Europe.

The issue of Women Investment in a dramatic situation and here the numbers:

📌 2% of funding for women-led-business.

📌 5% of funding for mix teams.

📌 93% of funding for men-led-business.

📌 Bank loans to women have higher interest rates with lower amounts.

📌 Investors are a key element for innovation because they are the enablers of bringing ideas to the market.

📌 Diversity is not only about gender balance is about perspectives, values, etc.

📌 This problem is sistemic, the current financing system is only accepting one point of view.

Our society needs an action plan with immediate emergency steps and a mid-term program.

Thank you to MEPs support Maria Grazia Carvahlo, Lina Gálvez Muñoz and Susana Solís Pérez.

Thank you to the research and business expert speakers Marie-Elisabeth Rusling CEO of Business Angels Network, Rosa Scappatura Executive Relations at NY Mellon Bank, Surya Fackelmann Adviser at European Investment Bank, Prof. Kimberly A. Houser at Oklahoma University, Kathryn Sforcina UN Science Policy Business Forum, Lecturer Carol Tarr Nyenrode Business University & Fellow Included VC, Tamara Obradov partner at VC Tablomondo and representing the #fundright mission in the Netherlands.

This debate is bringing the question of how to enhance the innovation ecosystem from women‘s perspective, by bringing more diversity to the investment decision table and by increasing the number of women investors in venture capital and other ways of banking and private financing opportunities.

Research shows how the lack of women investors affects not only the financing of women-led ventures but economic performance and returns significantly.

On the other hand, it is needed to increase the number of women who receive public and private funding for innovative ventures and projects. Is there any policy or regulation that is needs to be adapted to help the innovation ecosystem to increase the numbers of women around finance opportunities?

Some questions that the debate will attempt to answer: How can we adapt the current policies and cross-country regulations to support the diversity in VCs, banking services, private investment, family offices? What are the main challenges to bring women in the investment field? How can we ensure an equal selection of innovative projects and ventures? Which kind of metrics are needed to check the progress? How can we increase the number of women investors in early stage investing, increase investment flows for innovators – men and women, and also stimulate innovative approaches to bank lending taking a gender lens?

 

“I am very happy that Knowledge4Innovation and Knowco Collabwith organized the forum full of successful and wonderful women to empower women through investment opportunities. These events are very much needed to put the debate on the table and to reduce the inequalities that are still present in the innovation, finance and entrepreneurial sectors. The reality remains that there are still too few female founders, too few women within tech companies and angel investors… and there aren’t enough women in decision-making roles. We will continue working to change this‼” Susana Solis, MEP European Parliament



Contact Prof. Kimberly Houser in our Knowco Collabwith Community, here.




The breakfast debate was a very inspiring event demonstrating the power of bringing together voices and experiences from diverse backgrounds. I’m grateful for the opportunity to meet so many inspiring leaders who deeply understand the challenges faced when addressing the investment gender gap.” Rosa Scappatura, Executive Relations at New York Mellon Bank.

“Gender balance is not simply a nice to have. There are huge untapped economical growth opportunities globally, as a consequence of the lack of focus on women as investors, as business owners and as consumers. It’s time for both the public and the private sector to join forces and focus on gender balance, re-thinking of the way products and resources are designed and distributed to women.” Rosa Scappatura, Executive Relations at New York Mellon Bank.


Listen to our podcast with Marie-Elisabeth Rusling about Women Investment, here.



“We now have research, data, statistics on the benefits of diverse teams – and we know how essential it is to be able to measure to make a powerful case. We know about the economic overperformance of mixed teams. We also know how work on recruitment, unconscious biases, on building a work place safe and stimulating for women can bring results for the organisation and society at large. But to move the needle and accelerate changes and their take up, we need inspiration: testimonials, success stories, leading figures making the case – relentlessly. Campaigning is important and this is an area where policy makers can help by supporting private initiatives that work, such as Women in Finance BE, Women Angels for Europe’s Entrepreneurs and Women in VCs – to help fund pan-European campaigns, to help translate at truly pan-EU level effective instruments and networks” Marie-Elisabeth Rusling, CEO Business Angels Europe

Contact Lecturer Carol Tarr in our Knowco Collabwith Community, here.




In our Knowco Collabwith Community we have 44% women researchers, entrepreneurs and innovation professionals and 56% men researchers, entrepreneurs and innovation professionals. We did it by only giving equal visibility to women and men research and startups and companies in our magazine and podcast. It’s possible to create impact with Little changes in your way of thinking and in your way of working.

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