Tuesday 10 December 2019

Venture capital groups will only fund companies with at least 35% women

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A group of venture capital bodies have announced that they only want to fund ventures with at least 35% women, reports the FD.

Keen Venture Capital, one of the 25 investors in the initiative, has said that companies need to have a ‘visible’ proportion of women to qualify. Together, the group of funds represent €1 bn in capital.

Alexander Ribbink, partner at Keen Venture Capital, said they had a clear ambition to support companies with a more equal gender balance. ‘We don’t have exact figures about investment in female entrepreneurs but we know that in our sector there are far fewer than 35%,’ he reportedly said. ‘We have given ourselves three years to reach this goal. Management teams with men and women perform better.’

Companies currently receiving investment from the company have been asked to look at their management structures and report their gender balance to their investors – although there will be no sanction if they don’t currently meet the target. The 25 funds, which typically invest in tech ventures, include Inkef Capital, Endeit Capital, TIIN Capital and regional funds such as South Holland’s Innovation Quarter and Liof in Limburg.

Prince Constantijn, an ambassador for start-ups in the Netherlands, was one of the founders of the initiative and stressed the importance of good financing for new businesses. ‘People often talk about whether female entrepreneurs are capable or whether they can combine business and family,’ he reportedly said. ‘Men are generally judged on their ambition and plans for the future – and this doesn’t help.’

Earlier this year an investigation into female-led start-ups suggested that only 1.6% of companies receiving investment in the Netherlands were run by a woman.

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