95% of high tech proposals received are created by men. Last Friday, the minister of tech and innovation dr Nenad Popović pinpointed this statistic while supporting the initiative and teams of Space4women in Novi Sad. This struck hard and made one idea crystal clear. In order to move onward, we need a market economy approach, bigger diversity, and to understand what numbers actually stand for.
First, let’s recognize women’s demonstrated contribution in tech and business development providing higher value creation. Then, let’s continue by framing the context of the discussion in terms of the economic gains. Gains are produced when (tech) startups and businesses are women-(co)led: data shows higher growth and revenues!
So, now it became urgent that we all address the ‘“why” beyond mere numbers. Not only in terms of quota for social justice and gender equality but to drive national and international economic growth. Gender and skill diverse leadership makes better businesses with a greater chance for success and growth. Just look at the stats, it’s all there.
The Women Entrepreneurship Event
In my own name and Impact Hub Belgrade, thank you Space4Women project managers Danijela Ćirić and her team of organizers! I enjoyed the opportunity to be a part of the amazing event “Entrepreneurship from women’s perspective” (Preduzetništvo iz ženskog ugla) and jury on 14th of December!
We had a hard time choosing the three winning teams. Teams were built of mainly women students from all faculties of the University of Novi Sad.
Space4Women girl leaders, future women entrepreneurs and founders, your example shows you have all the talent and courage to make the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Serbia stronger! Congratulations to all of you and particularly to the top three winners. My special wishes and support go to the top 1 – the Table Catcher team! This is a diverse team, made of female students and one male student with a go-to-market approach and a market-driven mindset.
We will be happy to help this project grow!
3 impactful messages to all young entrepreneurs
Last but not least, I was asked at the end of the panel to give some “advice” to these amazing young people who have the cut of leaders.
I have three wishes for them:
- Be rebels with a cause – your “why” is your shining light, remember you can choose your fight and the strategies on the way;
- Build relationships more than “products” – what matters is that a diversity of women, men, 22 so far listed genders, cultures and institutions that share the values you fight for want to join your startup, team, venture, want to be your customers, investors, partners, co-founders, etc. Participate in different ways! This is how you’ll create value;
- Use tech to do good – apply technology for meaningful challenges that are worth solving! We don’t have a choice but to use tech for good in our world.
Wrapping this note of gratitude and inspiration with a quote from my favourite book “Good Night stories for Rebel Girls”:
“You Are the Promise, You Are the Force – Don’t Step Back and Everyone Will Move Forward”!
Would you like to become or you are already female founder? Check out our programs for female entrepreneurs: https://belgrade.impacthub.net/zajednica/