Prototron will bring more women into the start-up world

On Women’s Day, Jana Budkovsakja, CEO of Prototron, asked the question: “Why are there so few women getting involved in start-ups, and what can be done to increase the number of women in that field?”. Her discussion partners were Liina Laas, Jekaterina Mazina, Jelena Gorbatsova, Ksenia Sokolova, and Kadri Haljas – all of them are Prototron alumnies, who have successfully made it to the market with their innovative idea.

Liina shared an interesting study she found: Boston Consulting Group surveyed 350 start-ups. They realized that women receive on average 900 000 USD in funding, whereas the male founded companies raise 2 million. But in the space of 5 years, the companies that were founded by women returned double the amount per investment. Men didn’t really bring in that much. Maybe investors should be thinking that balanced portfolios will make them more money and through that, we will see more women succeeding in society…

Reasons, ideas, hypotheses – why there are so few women in start-ups and why those are getting less funding?

Firstly – the lack of role models. As an example, when interested in finance all the speakers and successful examples in that field were men in suits. Most of the women don’t relate to that. In the world of business, there is noticeable discrimination. It is not necessarily only from men. It is also from other women. Many women believe that women lack of leadership aspects, since they haven’t had a shining example. Women are in a loop. That belief feeds itself.

Secondly – start-ups are usually launched by the age group where women find themselves more focused on starting a family therefore, there are fewer females in start-ups.

How can women support each other?

–          Talk about this topic: The more you talk about it the more outstanding the topic is. Hopefully, in the future, it could breach our biases.

–          Be more visible: The more you are in the picture, the more you could empower other women, and it will become new normality.

–          Take more risks: Promising too much might backfire, but while presenting your idea, be assured and self-confident

The aim isn’t to create all-female companies, mixed-gender teams work better together and exceed in problem-solving, combining different experiences for the best outcome.

2,5 years ago, most of the applications to Prototron were submitted by men and the chosen 40 were start-ups launched by men. Today we are glad to say that half are female piloted. We hope we can help to bring more women into the start-up world.

Watch the full discussion.