Unequal access to financial support plays a significant role in the gender gap, particularly for women starting new enterprises. Unfortunately, VC investments globally are displaying a strong gender bias. Even if Finland is traditionally considered to be a forerunner of equality in the world, when it comes to fundraising the numbers speak for themselves.
Last year was the first year that concrete funding stats from female funded companies were reported in Finland. According to the latest research by Unconventional Ventures, only 1% of funding went to all female-funded teams and 5% to mixed funding-teams during 2018. The numbers prove the harsh reality of the VC & tech ecosystem in Finland but also Nordic-wide.
This reality inspired us to launch the other 99%, (#theother99) a campaign to highlight all the stories from female and other minority funded companies in Finland. We believe these founders are out there, help us find them.
Maria 01 – Representing the Ecosystem
Maria 01 is a community for the startup ecosystem. We are a league of tech entrepreneurs, startup employees, community builders, investors and partners building the future – together. Maria 01 has since the start provided its premises to become a home base for its members, fostering great teams and supporting growth companies.
As we are a startup community that represents a whole ecosystem, we don’t represent only the positive but also the negative sides of our booming ecosystem – such as the issue we are raising above.
As an ecosystem supporter, one of our key roles is to raise awareness and support organizations that are on very specific journeys such as actively encouraging women to pursue tech careers or helping growing organizations to instill a culture of inclusion and diversity in the workplace.
Furthermore, our commitment towards D&I can be seen in the ecosystem network that we support. We open up our spaces to different organizations and events that are on a clear mission to make this world a better place and whose core is centered around tech, talent or entrepreneurship.
Organizations such as The Shortcut have been helping people to improve their skills and acquire new ones to enter the tech ecosystem. Inklusiiv, that started less than a year ago, has already challenged VCs in Europe to report their diversity numbers and share its actions and commitment towards D&I within their teams & dealflow.
Having a central community where all these initiatives come to fruition, we believe will have a huge impact in the future we will all be part of in Finland. Hopefully, a future where young girls and other minorities will grow up to be world-conquering founders.
Maria 01 – By no Means Perfect
In our freshly launched 2019 impact report from last week, it was revealed that only 17% or 24 out of 141 startups were founded by women. We are committed towards raising this number significantly by 2021. We are working on improving our dealflow to ensure we have a more diverse pool of founders applying to become members at Maria 01.
We encourage you to use the hashtag #theother99. Let’s give those VCs and us a hand to find all the upcoming and current success stories!