Startups that are founded, run, or owned by women are a rarity. In Germany, only about 15% of startups are initiated by women and this number is not the result of steady growth. Instead, the figure has been stagnant for years. Additionally, female-led startups receive significantly less Venture Capital than those owned by men. This is a shame, considering data shows that startups founded by women achieve higher revenues and are therefore the more attractive investment.
We at Wayra uses our resources and influence as a corporate accelerator to bring more diversity to the startup world by explicitly supporting female entrepreneurship in multiple ways.
Female entrepreneurship and funding in numbers
To examine the extent of the gap and determine opportunities to counteract, the so-called gender investment gap was investigated. They found out that
Why female entrepreneurs receive less funding
Looking at the results of the investigation, one wonders what the reasons may be for big companies handling their funds the way they do. A few causes are easy to identify:
How the corporate accelerator Wayra aims at supporting female-founded startups
Telefónica’s Open Innovation Hub Wayra Germany is co-led by CSO Katrin Bacic and she is not the only woman on our team: 50 % of the German Wayra workforce is female. Diversity is part of our strategy – both inside and outside the company. We have found ways to support female entrepreneurship in a manner that other corporate accelerators can easily pick up on:
Each Venture Development Manager is obliged to scout female-led startups for our accelerator program.
Our CSO Katrin Bacic is part of the mentorship programs Stealth Mode and Women in AI & Robotics Germany.
We offer customized coaching to founders that is tailored to their needs when they join the accelerator program. Katrin Bacic also offers free 30-minute coaching sessions to women in tech with potential follow-up meetings. To book one of her coaching sessions, just click here.
Part of our portfolio is Stackfuel, for which scholarships are awarded. Stackfuel offers data training to support women in finding new career opportunities. In cooperation with Telefónica, we have sponsored the trainings to become a data analyst. Click here to apply.
Wayra is committed to supporting female entrepreneurship not only out of personal conviction but based on experience that matches the findings of various studies: Teams that are at least partly female are more successful and work more sustainably.