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Empowering positive change: “Next Generation Women Leaders in VCs and Startups – Major Drivers of a Sustainable Future” Summit Discussion, organized by Collabwith and Forum Knowledge4Innovation

In a groundbreaking initiative, Collabwith took the lead in organizing an incredible debate, “Next Generation Women Leaders in VCs and Startups – Major Drivers of a Sustainable Future,” as part of the 1st European Innovation Area Summit hosted by the Knowledge4Innovation Forum last June 28, 2022. This summit brought together 18 influential participants, each contributing their unique perspectives and expertise to discuss the crucial roles and impact of women in driving sustainability across various sectors.

At the heart of this landmark event was Collabwith’s commitment to orchestrating a conversation that transcends boundaries. The debate initiative, led by Collabwith founder and CEO, Jara Pascual – aimed to create a space for collaboration and knowledge-sharing, bringing together thought leaders, innovators, and change-makers to explore the multifaceted impact of women in leadership roles for sustainability. The talk was designed to analyze how women-led startups, researchers, VCs and businesses are shaping a sustainable society and economy in different industries, achieving carbon neutrality, circularity, resource efficiency, preservation of natural resources and biodiversity as well as sustainable food and clean energy production.

The summit provided a valuable exchange of perspectives on sustainability, gender equality, and the role of women in Europe’s decision-making landscape. The discussions delved into recent advancements in gender equality, advocating for increased inclusion in the digital sector. Practical recommendations were shared to address the gender investment gap and support women-led startups in areas like clean energy and sustainable fashion. The focus on integrating sustainable finance into digital transformations underscored the critical contribution of women to innovation and green initiatives. The summit offered a pragmatic view of how collaboration and innovation, driven by women, can contribute to a more sustainable and equitable future for Europe.

The collective insights from the summit resulted in a set of actionable recommendations aimed at fostering an environment conducive to gender equality, innovation, and sustainable practices.

  1. Advocating for Women’s Inclusion in the Digital Sector: Promoting and supporting the active participation of women in the digital transformation landscape.
  2. Closing the Gender Investment Gap: Implementing strategies to bridge the gender investment gap, fostering a resilient and inclusive economy.
  3. Mapping Gender Gaps in Innovation: Identifying and addressing disparities in innovation through comprehensive mapping and monitoring systems, utilizing measurable Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
  4. Increasing Investment in Women-Led Startups: Allocating more resources and support for startups led by women, particularly in the fields of clean tech and climate tech innovations.
  5. Ensuring Transparency in Recruitment: Promoting transparency in the recruitment process to eliminate gender bias and create equal opportunities for all.
  6. Addressing Funding Disparities: Confronting funding disparities faced by women entrepreneurs, particularly addressing biases within the predominantly male-dominated investment sector.
  7. Supporting Women in Accessing Funding: Creating avenues and support systems to facilitate women’s access to funding and the commercialization of their research.
  8. Monitoring Women’s Participation in Innovation Ecosystems: Establishing mechanisms to track and assess women’s participation and integration within key innovation ecosystems.
  9. Encouraging Women Investors: Promoting and encouraging women to become active investors, thereby supporting and empowering women entrepreneurs in their ventures.

At the core of this vibrant discussion were diverse ideas and proposals covering gender equality, representation, sustainability, innovation, funding, and policy changes. These insights, if put into action, could propel Europe towards a more inclusive and equitable society. From advocating feminist agendas to closing the gender investment gap, these suggestions outline a roadmap for positive transformation. Recognizing and studying these complex connections is crucial for informed policy decisions and interventions, urging media outlets and researchers to delve into the intricacies discussed in this Summit.

It’s a call to collectively work towards a future that embraces inclusivity and change across Europe! Keen to uncover the diverse viewpoints shared by each participant in the discussion? Read the full report below for an insightful overview of the perspectives presented during this engaging dialogue!


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