“An equal world is an enabled world” - this is the slogan of this year’s celebration of International Women’s Day. The question is, how can we make the world enabled? How can we forge global gender equality? As each of us is responsible for our own thoughts and actions, it’s up to us to actively choose to challenge stereotypes, fight prejudice, and broaden the horizons.
Seedstars is proving to effectively fight for the cause every day. Our mission is to bridge the gap between ecosystems and connect global stakeholders to foster entrepreneurship and technology in emerging markets. We aim to impact people's lives and that includes gender equality. We embody this idea both through our structure and our projects.
Gender Equality Entrepreneurship in Africa
Each day we take steps to improve the gender balance in emerging markets. For instance, in December 2019, we held the Seedstars Summit Africa 2019 where, for the first time, the competition jury was composed entirely by women.
As another example, last year, we joined forces with Swiss Association For Entrepreneurship in Emerging Markets and GIZ to increase women participation across all levels and to improve gender balance in the region of Sub-Saharan Africa. The project aimed at raising and catalysing investments, initiating inclusive training opportunities and giving more spotlight to female entrepreneurs, all focusing on women-led startups across the continent. As part of the outcomes, we created the GIZ Insight Report with important conclusions which will help to identify what needs to be done to increase women participation in entrepreneurship. We’ve also prepared a Toolkit of Best Practices to achieve an improved gender balance in businesses and organisations.
Women Makers Community in Peru
One of the great practices in the LatAm region is Women Makers - a regular gathering of female tech enthusiasts, founders and investors. It started small with only 10 participants and quickly grew to a community of nearly 200 female digital entrepreneurs who gather in Lima to share their knowledge, experiences, contacts and contribute to the development of female entrepreneurship.
Women Makers organise the Women Breakfast event several times per year where they can generate knowledge, synergies and opportunities, while also helping to shape the tech industry in Peru. Seedstars has occasionally hosted the Women Makers community at their Seedspaces.
An equal world is an enabled world
We believe that equality is not a women's issue, it's a business issue. Gender equality is essential for economies and communities to thrive. A gender-equal world can be healthier, wealthier and more harmonious - so what's not great about that?
Collectively, each one of us can help create a gender-equal world. In order to make a difference, we should collaborate more intensively with local entrepreneurship support organisations to share our knowledge, network and expertise and promote a more gender-sensitive and inclusive approach.
We join the International Women’s Day cause to celebrate women's achievements, to raise awareness against bias and to take action for equality. An equal world is an enabled world. Let's all be #EachforEqual.