As budding agrifood entrepreneurs and startups came together with the investor community at one of the largest European agrifood innovation matchmaking events last year, we asked Food and Agtech VC Severine Balick to share her view on the representation of women in the sector.
Severine spends half her time advising big food and agri corporates and the rest, searching for the best investment opportunities across the whole food supply chain so she is well placed to answer this question.
She knows that there are some impressive women out there, but if we look at the number of women entrepreneurs receiving funding in Europe, it is still less than 6-7% according to Severine.
An extra effort needs to be made if we want to move towards a more diverse and gender-balanced ecosystem. For Severine, it’s about providing more support, coaching and mentoring programmes to support women entrepreneurs and help them grow in their roles.
She is very optimistic as she is seeing some amazing women emerging in the food and agritech space who can be role models to show the next generation that they can do it. Find out who her top 3 women entrepreneurs in the agrifood space are in this video:
Women continue to be under-represented in leadership positions within academia, big business and start-up ventures. Representation in the sciences and technology is even more dismal with as little as 7%-9% women tech entrepreneurs in countries in Europe. The reasons are many and complex but one significant reason is that women often do not feel that entrepreneurial leadership is for them. For this reason, EIT Food’s partners have come together to organise a Summer School that offers women postdoctoral researchers and professionals an opportunity to explore and develop both their entrepreneurial and leadership self. Applications will open soon at this link.