This is How Female Founders are Moving Switzerland Forward

First Round Capital recently noted that female founded companies performed 63% better than all-male founding teams. This endorsement strikes at the heart of the matter for any entrepreneur: the link between performance and funding. We can no longer ignore the role women play in building great companies - in Switzerland nor around the world.

But there's more: newly released reports by the Female Entrepreneurship Index (FEI) show the gender gap for entrepreneurs closing by 6% - with today’s female founders being more growth oriented and better educated than ever before. Women are gaining traction in the startup world and these new findings are changing the game for female founders moving forward.

The change in the statistics on female entrepreneurship from last year is encouraging, but we still have an important journey in front of us.

The Road Ahead

Yet traction demands funding. Research on the funding and Venture Capital (VC) front shows that women are gaining presence here too. More women are choosing to join VC firms, and many are investing in other women. Though statistics vary on the presence of women in the VC world, some estimates claim 1 in 4 angel investors are women. In addition, we see a definite trend of women leaving large, established VC firms to start their own boutique VC firms - like Aileen Lee and Ann Miura-KoFemale founders supported by female funders - this is a good evolution, and it makes sense.

All of these trends point to better, stronger entrepreneurial ecosystems for the current 200 million female founders globally. Startup Grind aims to be a global resource for female founders by offering support, including connecting with funding sources, providing business education and mentorship opportunities. Every May, hundreds of Startup Grind chapters are educating their local communities on the impact female founders have had in their local economies as part of Female Founder Month. 

The Most Inspiring Women of Europe

In Zurich, the Startup Grind community is highlighting the work being done to bring diversity and gender equality to the forefront. So what’s the status of gender equality in Switzerland? According to StartupTicker, Switzerland has an equal number of male and female entrepreneurs in the 15 - 64 age group. They also note that 49% of nascent ventures are initiated by women.

In addition, Switzerland values gender equality as an area of future strength and has created a Federal Office of Gender Equality which monitors the success and integration of gender equality in Switzerland’s international business community. For more information on their role, please visit their site.

Even at the grassroots level in Switzerland, women are advocating for women with groups such as: We Shape Tech and GetDiversity.

On May 31st, Startup Grind Zurich iss honored to have Franziska Iseli from Basic Banana's. Franziska is a maverick entrepreneur, leading marketing and brand strategist. 

For additional inspiration, we are put the spotlight on 7 dynamic female founders who have earned their street cred in Zurich business circles. 

We found their stories and leadership styles inspirational, so we asked each of them to share their insights as female business leaders in Zurich. Read on for their stories, as told in our questions:

1. Tell us what motivated you to become an entrepreneur?
2. What characteristic do you value most as a successful entrepreneur?
3. How do you achieve work/personal life balance?
4. How has being located in Switzerland been a plus to your company?