The objective of this project is to better understand the experiences and barriers for women as they create and scale agrifood tech businesses, and commit to interventions that will advance gender equity in the EIT Food entrepreneurial ecosystem and beyond.
Despite efforts to reduce bias and promote equity, gender-based barriers persist and prevent women from realising their full potential. Female entrepreneurs only receive a fraction of venture capital (VC) funding across investment generally and, in some cases, are subject to extreme forms of negative gender bias and discrimination when fundraising.
Research shows, however, that female-owned digital tech startups are more likely to be successful than those of their male counterparts and improving gender equity in entrepreneurship could create millions of extra jobs and boost the EU economy by trillions.
In order to better understand the experiences of women and their suggested interventions from EIT Food Business Creation, this study carried out three primary forms of research:
- The EIT Food Female Entrepreneurship survey
- Three focus groups across four EIT Food entrepreneurship programmes
- Interviews with selected investor partners.
The survey and focus group sessions were effective at understanding the experiences and needs of participants at different stages of business development. The experience of EIT Food’s female participants advances what has been learned through the growing body of literature about female entrepreneurs, women in technology, and funding gaps for women in recent years, in the EU and elsewhere.