It’s a sad fact that the proportion of women among startup founders is still very low. In 2020, only 11.9 percent of all startups in Germany are female-led. The figures in individual sectors are even more sobering. In the finance and insurance sector 7.2 percent of the founders are women, in the ITC sector 6 percent.
And even once women decide to start a business, their path to success is a rocky one: only 5.2% of female-led startups have received an investment of €1M or more, juxtaposed against 27.8% when it comes to male led teams. The reason for this is the fact that 96% of venture capital companies are managed exclusively by men as well as women’s less established networks in key business areas, particularly in the investment sector and traditional economy, making it harder for them to get in contact with potential co-founders, relevant investors and potential customers.
Expand your network by joining one
Our selection of women’s networks
Women’s networks can be a safe space for them to connect, network and collaborate, ultimately providing a counterbalance to the often male dominated world of entrepreneurship. Here are a few networks worth checking out:
- PANDA – The Women Leadership Network
PANDA is a network for women in leadership. Their community is just as diverse as leadership itself. Here you can get in contact with ambitious and motivated women in leadership and those who are aiming to take the next step in their career.
PANDA members share their knowledge and experience, support each other and regularly exchange experiences in the community. Communication among members takes place digitally via the PANDA platform or in person through the many PANDA events.
- BPW Germany
BPW (Business and Professional Women) is one of the largest networks for women entrepreneurs and professional women worldwide. Approximately 30,000 members in around 100 countries of BPW International are committed to supporting women of all hierarchical levels and sectors in developing their professional potential. In addition to personal exchange, lectures, conferences and mentoring, the network is active in political and social lobbying work at national and international level.
In 2008, BPW introduced Equal Pay Day as a day of action for equal pay for men and women. Since then, Equal Pay Day has symbolically marked the pay gap between men and women every year.
- BERlean In Circle
Lean In Circles in general are small groups of women who meet regularly to learn and grow together. The Circles are led by volunteer women and can be set up by anyone. A Circle can be a monthly roundtable at your home, a brown-bag lunch at work or a virtual meet-up with people from around the world. It all builds on the concept created by Sheryl Sandberg, so it’s recommended you do a little bit of research on the Circle leader before joining a group.
The BERlean In Circle is a group of professional women at all career stages and from various backgrounds. In the true spirit of LeanIn they share and discuss experiences in a safe and fun environment where everyone can learn from each other. Openness, trust and transparency are some of the group’s core values.
While the group calmed down a bit over Corona and hasn’t been running events for quite a while now, we do hope they will restart soon.
Accelerating female entrepreneurship
The High-Tech SeedLab is focused on promoting more women in tech by sourcing female founders in the sector of high-tech and sustainability. Our current batch includes 42% women and we are aiming for an even higher number in our upcoming batch. Our accelerator program offers a monthly stipend, a premium membership at one of Berlin’s best coworking spaces, tailor-made workshops as well as access to our extensive network of alumni and industry experts, making it the best place to test your idea and start your business in Berlin.
Did we miss a women’s network you’d like to add to the list? Comment below to share your suggestion.
The High-Tech SeedLab’s acceleration program is designed to help early-stage teams with a focus on sustainability and/or women in tech to test their idea and business model, build or finalise a minimum viable product, and successfully launch their business.