The Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland hosted a Generation Equality themed side event in Slush 2021, the leading start up event in the world. The event, Investing & Gender Inclusion – What Can Investors Do?, was organized in collaboration with UN Women Finland, Inklusiiv and Finnish Business Angels Networt, attracting more than 150 attendees.
The event provided investors and founders with concrete value, tools and best practices on how to apply gender smart investment strategies in their work and how to move from words to action. It brought together founders and investors for discussion and peer-to-peer learning, followed by a networking session. The panelists included Deepali Nangia (Venture Parter at Speedinvest, Co-Founder of Alma Angels, UKBAA Angel Investor of the Year), Daisy Onubogu (Head of Network & Communities, BACKED), Andreas Helbig (Senior Associate, Atomico), Dora Palfi (Co-Founder & CEO, imagiLabs), Mlja Laakso (UNICEF Venture Fund Lead, UNICEF Office of Innovation).
In 2020, only 2.3 % of VC funding went to women-led startups. However, research shows that diversity significantly improves financial performance on measures such as profitable investments. The panelists agreed, that the low amout of funding cannot be explained by saying that there aren’t enough women founders. Rather than that, the issues are connected to the lack of networks and to the difficulties of getting early stage investments from their inner cycle. It was also agreed that the unconscious bias in the starup sector are benefiting certain types of investors. However, the situation in the strat up sector seems to be getting better, even though changing people’s attitudes and ways of making business is often very show.
You can find the recording of the event here.
Finland is co-leading the Action Coalition for Technology and Innovation for Gender Equality in the Generation Equality campaign.