Create revenue and equality at one go – Invest in women entrepreneurs
December 09, 2019
Investment decisions give directions to technologies we want to see tomorrow and societies we want to build. Investing in women-led startups can generate both higher revenue and more gender-equal society. FiBAN, OP Helsinki and Women in Tech club together to praise female-led companies and diversity during the Women in Tech week.
Investing in businesses founded by women deliver higher revenue, states a research conducted by Boston Consulting Group and MassChallenge. The research reveals that startups founded and co-founded by women gain less investment but perform better over time – they generate 10% more in cumulative revenue over a five-year period.
Besides gaining more revenue in dollars, investing in women-led startups is a way to praise gender equality and make more impact conscious decisions. Impact investing in its many forms, including gender equality, is also close to FiBAN’s heart. FiBAN is currently building an Impact Investing Toolbox for business angels to ease business angels on making more impact conscious investments.
Angle syndicates bring muscles for diverse know-how
FiBAN’s Managing Director Amel Gaily encourages more women to explore opportunities in the field of angel investing: “Currently 11% of our angel investor members are female, which is actually more than in many other countries. However, we hope to see many more female angels in our network.”
In addition, Gaily emphasizes many aspects of diversity. “Recently, we have seen new angels of different ages and foreign investors joining the network, which makes our network even more diverse. This is a great benefit for startups who are not only looking for funding but also advisors.” she adds.
When angels invest together in syndicates, the benefits of diversity are most visible. Over 80% of investments made by FiBAN members are done in syndicates. “When a syndicate consists of business angels with diverse backgrounds and know-how, a startup can have a group of high-class experts who are ready to help the company grow.” Gaily says.
Fueling growth for women entrepreneurs in technology industries
When fueling the growth of female-led companies, peer-to-peer networks have a big role. Boston Consulting Group states that the best networks are built on the principles of intent, inclusion, and interaction. These kinds of networks encourage women to set higher aspirations for their businesses, plan for growth, and embrace innovation.
“Women in Tech Finland was founded in 2013 for the cause of getting more women in technology driven industries.” says FiBAN member and angel investor Pia Erkinheimo. She is a co-founder of Women in Tech in Finland, a network that promotes the value of diversity in technology. The home of the network is Technology Industries of Finland, and operations are coordinated by Women of Aalto.
“Diversity is the key to success in any domain. We do not need only technology or business minded women but also women, and men, with a background in social sciences, humanities, design, medicine, and philosophy. For example, artificial intelligence as a lot discussed topic, is even more about the development of understanding of ethics, as the algorithms and computing capacity is evolving anyhow.” Erkinheimo explains.
“We have statistics telling that female-led startups do better than those founded by men, but this is not about confrontation: anyone can support female entrepreneurs, being a customer for their products, giving advice and acting as a sparring partner, advocating e.g. in social media, or becoming an angel investor and showing example.” notes Erkinheimo.
Female founders in the spotlight during the women in Tech Week
In Finland, a concrete way to embrace women entrepreneurs, especially in technology industries, is to bring them in the limelight during the Women in Tech week on the 7-13 of October 2019.
The week will be filled with several satellite events, one of them being FiBAN Pitch Finland, the leading regularly organized pitching event in the Nordics targeted for angel investors. This time, FiBAN Pitch Finland partners with OP Helsinki and Women in Tech to bring especially female founders on stage to pitch in front of investors.
“We are excited to see enthusiastic female entrepreneurs on stage and encourage them in the beginning of the Women in Tech week!” says Pirjo Koponen, Executive Director of OP Financial Group.
“In OP, we strongly believe that we are all equal. We identify and accept each other’s differences and treat everyone equally regardless of gender, age, origin, conviction, health, sexual orientation or another reason related to a person. Diversity is an absolute asset and beneficial for work communities, companies, administration, customers and society.” Koponen concludes.
To kick-start the Women in Tech week, over 100 business angels will gather to OP Helsinki to participate in the Women in Tech edition of the biggest regularly organized pitching event in the Nordics: FiBAN Pitch Finland. The event on Monday 7th of October is for FiBAN members and FiBAN partners, who can register here.