Background - 25.03.2021 - 00:00 

Female entrepreneurship in Europe

What significance do women have as founders in Europe? Verena Pausder and Miriam Meckel discussed the difficulties and opportunities on the third day of the START Summit 2021.
Source: HSG Newsroom

25 March 2021. The discussion about female entrepreneurship first of all broached the topic of the fireside chat itself for debate and revealed a well-known undesirable side-effect: highlighting women as founders reproduces the distinction which should actually be overcome.

More role models and women investors

“What’s got to happen that we won’t have to talk about ‘female entrepreneurship’ in 10-15 years’ time and women as founders will be part of normality?” asked moderator Sophie Bree, Managing Director of START Fund. Verena Pausder, serial entrepreneur and bestselling author (Das Neue Land), firstly emphasised the importance of role models from whom young women could take their bearings. “Secondly, we need more women investors who themselves also invest in women founders,” demanded Pausder. “Most investors are still men.”





We need more investors who invest in women investors.






Verena Pausder





Miriam Meckel, co-founder and CEO of ada Learning and HSG Professor of Corporate Communication, referred to the influence of culture: “In Europe, we’ve got enough capital and technology ready to hand, but social change is taking place too slowly, particularly in the German-speaking area.” Start-ups would have to be regarded as the future middle-sized sector, which women would have to help shape as a matter of course. “But we first have to create the conditions for this,” said Meckel. For this purpose, it was important that women created better networks and provided each other with mutual support.





We have the talents, the expertise and the role models – just do it!






Prof. Dr. Miriam Meckel





“More courage and less doubt”

Despite all the difficulties, Verena Pausder and Miriam Meckel are looking ahead with a great deal of confidence. “The situation is completely different from only 20 years ago; women’s conception of themselves has changed,” reminisced Pausder. “At the HSG, for example, there are very many smart women students, and I advise them to have courage, less doubt, and share your ideas!” In the field of technology, in particular, there were also very many successful women, said Meckel. They must be given a stage and the resources for start-ups: “We have the talents, the expertise and the role models – just do it.”

Image: Adobe Stock / Alex from the Rock