Women and men founders are treated differently and can have different outlooks based on experience. It’s a cultural and systemic disconnect.
Parity is decades away based on current statistics. The 2021 levels of reported investment in women-founded companies were 1% in Europe, 2% globally, and 8% in Ireland. For every woman entrepreneur in Ireland, there are four men; yet women represent 50.34% of the population. Impactful work is being done within the founder ecosystem, but it’s only scratching the surface.
Building valuable business relationships
Challenges lie on both sides, compounded by the Covid-19 pandemic she-cession. Geographical isolation and cultural disconnect are real. Many men wear failure as a badge of honour. Women wear failure as a crown of thorns. Women founders can fall between the cracks. Interest decreases in non-tech-led startups or women-only founders/teams. This is matched by not enough women investors. Left unchanged, it will disenfranchise women and girls for generations to come.
When women-owned startups get funded, they’re more likely to succeed.
Understanding the power of networks is key to any founder’s journey. Women network differently from men by building narrow, deep networks. Elevating this to ‘leveraged connectivity’ — networks that can be safely tapped in or given back to, based on relationship building over time — is crucial to future success.
More financial success with women
When women-owned startups get funded, they’re more likely to succeed. They deliver double the revenue to euro/pound sterling invested, possibly based on heavier pushback by investors leading to stronger business plans, risk adversity, and resilience. Personal life experience often drives impact-led women’s founder journeys in health, med tech, edtech, environmental, or creative spaces. Society needs what they have to offer.
‘Equality’ doesn’t go far enough. ‘Equity’ through tailored support can widen the funnel and bring exponential change and a democratisation of the founder landscape. This is what AwakenHub is about. It was founded in July 2020 by four Irish women as the only women founders’ community on the island of Ireland committed to increasing opportunity by removing barriers to investment, scale, and success. 2,000 people — mostly women — are now subscribed, and it’s open to anyone who wants to get involved.