Female Founders: Overcoming Money and Funding Challenges

If you walk around co-working spaces in Berlin, you might get the impression that the startup scene consists fairly equally of men and women. However, if you look a bit more closely, the women who are not trading time for money as freelancers but are instead building and scaling their own businesses with team members and funding are represented as little as 15 % in the Berlin startup scene.

Women are facing several obstacles when it comes to entrepreneurship. One of them is the relationship and mindset in regards to money, funding, and finances.

According to several studies, women are less likely to start investing or make risky financial decisions than men. But women as investors tend to outperform their male counterparts on the stock market.

When it comes to entrepreneurship, funding for female founders (female-led startups) stalled at a shocking number of 2,2% of venture capital (VC) funding in the US in 2018.

What can be done about it?

StartupTV & Johanna of fem.couraged have partnered up to identify obstacles female entrepreneurs are facing, ask some uncomfortable questions, create role models and present stories of successful female founders on their habits and decisions so we can learn from them.

As interview partners of the pilot, we have chosen four amazing and very successful female founders who are working on offering solutions on how to handle your finances as a founder and how to access capital.

Alice Zhagury, CEO of The Family

The Family is an organization that empowers entrepreneurs through education and capital and was launched 5 years ago. The CEO Alice Zhagury has become concerned with the little representation of women in her portfolio – as little as 3% – and recently launched Goldup – a six weeks offline program for women to set up their online business (watch Johanna’s experience here).

Diana Rees, CEO of zkSystems

Diana Rees is one of the well-known role models in the women and tech scene in Berlin. She shares her experiences of running her blockchain startup regularly on stage to inspire other female entrepreneurs to start tech startup ups. She even works with a female CTO, travels to California on a regular basis and is currently in a funding round to raise several million Euros.

Kati Ernst, Co-Founder at Ooshi

Kati Ernst has entered the field of entrepreneurship by creating a period panties (menstruation product) which gave her a new set of challenges to communicate the product to potential business angels. She took the more conservative approach when she moved from the corporate world to the startup scene and has thoughtfully prepared her finances. She successfully started her co-founded business with a crowdfunding campaign that exceeded the expected financial goal by far.

Karolina Decker, CEO and Co-Founder of FinMarie

Karolina Decker is deeply passionate about the topic of finances and women. As the co-founder of ‘Mind the Gap e.V.’ – a financial education group for all women – she co-hosts regular events around money, finances, and women.

Two years ago, she started scaling her startup FinMarie – an online wealth management platform in Germany which helps women realize their financial and investment goals. FinMarie helps to remove the barrier for women to invest and build a wealth portfolio.

In the interviews, you will learn that all those women have different approaches to finances, money mindset and choosing funding options. What connects them though is their willingness to take risks, becoming visible, sharing their experiences to inspire others and offering a solution to a problem.

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