Analysis: Corporate Investors Hold the Key to Fostering Inclusive Entrepreneurship
Alarming headlines about women leaving the workforce during the pandemic abound. A quick Google on the topic will yield results including “How COVID-19 Sent Women’s Workforce Progress Backward”, “Women’s COVID-Fueled Exodus from the Workplace Hurts Us All”, “Why COVID-19 Could Force Millions of Women to Quit Work – and How to Support Them” from American Progress, Time and the Forum, respectively.
A side story which is not being so widely reported is how the pandemic reverse the meager gains women entrepreneurs have made in recent years.
In the US, it’s already happening. Pitchbook reports that in Q3 2020, quarterly venture capital funding for women founders dropped to a three-year low, even though overall venture capital activity was on a par with previous years. Between Q2 and Q3 last year, investment in women founders dropped 48%.
These losses make already dismal numbers worse. Women founder teams received only 4.3% of all venture capital deals in Q1 2020 – a drop from 7.1% in Q1 2019.
So far, investment levels in Europe are holding low but steady at 1.8% of venture capital going to all-women founder teams and 12.8% going to mixed-gender teams up until the end of October. But the threat of slippage in Europe – and globally – looms.
Photo courtesy of Afif Kusuma.