Our second #WomenCrushWednesday Fika was held at Ideon Innovation in Lund. We are excited to announce this new partnership! With two #WomenCrushWednesday Fikas taking place each month, Ideon Innovation will be the central meeting place for Women in Entrepreneurship (WiE).
With a focus on building connections and fostering collaboration between entrepreneurs, both WiE and Ideon Innovation aim to grow a healthier, more inclusive startup ecosystem in southern Sweden. Furthermore, by holding space for underrepresented members, this partnership is taking an essential step towards creating a more gender-equal startup community.
At Wednesday's meeting, we gathered 14 women to discuss this month's mental health and entrepreneurship theme. We also discussed barriers women entrepreneurs face when trying to obtain VC funding. A report by Startup Heatmap found that female-led startups in Europe are five years behind their male-led peers. In addition, they discovered that women-led startups raise considerably less funding in their early stages and often join startup accelerators 1 to 2 years later than their peers.
Though these findings are discouraging, there is hope for equality in obtaining funding. Startup Heatmap compared the funds raised by male and female founders in different European countries. They discovered eight countries where women founders raised the same amount or more than their male counterparts. Four countries out of the eight were Nordic. Unfortunately, Sweden was not one of them. Perhaps there is something to be learned from our Nordic neighbors when it comes to creating a more equal distribution of startup funding among genders?
Knowledge sharing is one important and encouraged in our WiE gatherings, and Lisa, the CEO & co-founder of RECILIO, shared some inspiring and straightforward advice. She said, "It's okay to not be perfect. It's okay not to know what you're doing. You're allowed to fail."
Of course, we all want to be successful in our entrepreneurial journey, but sometimes, the pressure to be perfect and know everything in our area of expertise hinders us from continuing on our path. Sharing failures along with successes not only shows our humanity but can inspire others to keep going in the face of adversity.
Lisa also shared that she manages a majority female team at RECILIO and is proud to lead a startup where 2 out of the 3 co-founders are women. To her, one of the most important things is to take care of her employees. She doesn’t mind making sacrifices for the betterment of the team and company. For example, if funds are limited, her employees are always paid first before herself.
At these WiE gatherings, we work to create a safe space where entrepreneurs can be vulnerable and share their knowledge and experiences with others. We hope that our attendees will leave our gatherings with a renewed sense of hope, purpose, and confidence.
Deniz Altan is an award-winning filmmaker of "Season of Hope: Stories of Women Refugees." She is the Brand Manager at Skåne Startups and is working on a documentary about startups in southern Sweden.
Esthefany Moscoso is an entrepreneurial coach at Spark Lund and an MSc of Entrepreneurship & Innovation student at Lund University. She is also the co-founder of Nidola, a platform that connects entrepreneurs.
Karolina Liljeroth-Dorozynska, Venture Advisor at Skåne Startups, has a physics Ph.D. and is currently working on a business idea involving food preparation.
Liza Rosado Rodriguez, originally from Puerto Rico, is a former appellate attorney now an MSc of International Human Rights Law student at Lund University.
Lorena Ojeda is co-founder & CEO of WkndBad, a food tech company that connects physical activity with food. She is a formidable advocate of incorporating gamification mechanics into the commercial sector.
Maxime van Esseveld is studying for her MSc in Entrepreneurship & Innovation. She's writing her thesis on the "Female Entrepreneurial Trajectory" while simultaneously working on a business idea that involves blockchain technology and hospitality.
Pitcha Pipattanakulchai, originally from Thailand, is an MSc student at Lund University studying Entrepreneurship & Innovation. She is passionate about supporting female entrepreneurs and is the co-founder of Nidola.
Thathsara Palliyaguru is an Innovations Specialist at UNOPS S3i Centre and is pursuing her MSc in Innovation & Global Sustainable Development at Lund University. She is writing her thesis about innovation systems in the Malmö/Lund area.