Women remain significantly underrepresented in the startup ecosystem, especially as founders. The numbers paint a clear picture: in 2023, the proportion of female founders stood at just 20.7%, showing only a marginal increase from 20.3% in 2022.

Germany is facing the challenge of maximizing its innovation potential to remain competitive in the long term. Female entrepreneurs play a key role in this, bringing not only new ideas but also aiming to create sustainable change in society. For many female founders, it is important to create ecological and social value with their startups. This focus on positive impact makes female entrepreneurs particularly valuable in the startup ecosystem.

Moreover, studies show a positive correlation between gender diversity in founding teams and among employees. Companies with mixed founding teams have a balanced gender distribution among their employees. This correlation is particularly evident at the leadership level: while in companies with all-male founding teams, only 13.6% of executives are women, this figure rises to a notable 40.1% in mixed founding teams. To promote the empowerment of women in the technology sector and in leadership positions, it is important to focus on founding teams.


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Capital is masculine

The access to venture capital in the startup ecosystem is crucial for the success of a company. However, here, a gender-specific inequality emerges: Female founders are often subjected to more critical scrutiny in investment decisions.

The numbers illustrate the inequality: While male teams receive a share of 39.3% of capital from business angels, this figure is only 31.4% for female teams. When it comes to venture capital, investors support only 19.8% of female teams compared to 25.1% of male teams.

In 2022, male teams received almost nine times more capital on average than female teams.

Entrepreneurship ≠ Family?

The compatibility of family and career poses a significant hurdle, especially for women. Even when starting a business, family planning remains a central issue: 41% of female founders have children, compared to 44% of male founders. Interestingly, the weekly working hours of male founders decrease by only one hour due to children, while female founders experience a six-fold reduction, amounting to 6 hours per week. This results in female founders being significantly less satisfied with the work-life balance. 81% of women consider the expansion of family-friendly policies as a key lever to strengthen the startup ecosystem.

Deutscher Startup-Verband: Deutscher Startup Monitor 2023
Deutscher Startup-Verband: Female Founders Monitor 2022