Press Release: 25 women entrepreneurs from across Europe and Central Asia meet potential investors at the “Investors Pitch Finale”
25 women entrepreneurs from 9 countries across Europe and Central Asia joined a bootcamp through an intensive training programme to increase their capacities in attracting investors to their businesses. Organized jointly by UN Women and KAGİDER as part of the Women’s Entrepreneurship Accelerator Initiative supported by Mary Kay, the bootcamp culminated in the “Investors Pitch Finale” on 29 April and brought women entrepreneurs together with investors to pitch their early-stage startups, minimum viable products and business blueprints to investors and businesspeople.
KAGİDER and UN Women, with the financial support of Mary Kay, joined their forces to address one of the biggest challenges women entrepreneurs face in growing their businesses: access to capital. Number of women startup founders are significantly low in Europe and Central Asia – partly because they start fewer companies than men but also because even when women entrepreneurs create a startup, they have trouble getting funding.
25 women entrepreneurs from 9 countries across Europe and Central Asia joined a bootcamp through an intensive training programme composed of four workshops to equip them with the necessary tools for presenting their companies to investors and conveying their demands. The workshops provided a framework to women entrepreneurs to learn about developing an effective Investors Pitch, defining different components of the Business Model Canvas, creating Efficient Presentation Techniques and preparing to answer Potential Investor Questions. Women entrepreneurs also had the opportunity to work individually with their dedicated Entrepreneur Coaches.
Having completed the different trainings throughout the bootcamp, women entrepreneurs met investors and pitched their early-stage startups, minimum viable products and business blueprints to investors during the “Investors Pitch Finale” on Friday, 29 April. 25 women entrepreneurs from Turkey, Bosnia Herzegovina, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Northern Makedonia, Moldovia and Serbia faced investors and businesspeople in this unique event and showcased their businesses and ideas.
Erdem: “Access to financial resources is one of the biggest hurdles for women entrepreneurs.”
Commenting on the bootcamp and the “Investors Pitch Finale”, Emine Erdem, President of KAGİDER said: “Access to financial resources is among the most important hurdles for women entrepreneurs on their way to grow. It is important for women entrepreneurs to reach out investors and convey their needs and expectations right to overcome this hurdle. We will give significant practical information to women entrepreneurs from 8 different countries on the subject through this bootcamp.Then they will make presentations to potential investors. I believe that it will be a successful program and we will get good results. I would like to thank our partners in this program, UN Women ve Mary Kay for their contributions.”
El-Yassir: “Investment in women entrepreneurs is an investment in change because they bring so much to the table: innovation, competitiveness, new values and greater returns.”
UN Women Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia and Turkey Representative Alia El-Yassir said: “When women entrepreneurs are not given equal access to economic opportunities, we are simply missing out on a great investment opportunity. Even though women get half the investment capital compared to men, their companies deliver twice as much revenue for each dollar invested . Investment in women entrepreneurs is an investment in change because they bring many things to the table, including innovation, competitiveness, new values and greater returns. You've heard it before, but it's worth saying again: investing in women-owned businesses is not only the right thing to do but also the smart thing to do!”
Gibbins: “Access to capital on both domestic and international markets is one of the most critical gaps faced by women entrepreneurs. We must all work together to close the financing gender gap.”
Chief Operating Officer at Mary Kay and co-founder of the Women’s Entrepreneurship Accelerator Deborah Gibbins said: “According to the World Bank , 2.4 billion women of working age still do not enjoy the same economic rights as men. IFC has estimated that worldwide, more than 70 percent of women-owned small and medium enterprises have inadequate or no access to financial services. Access to capital on both domestic and international markets is one of the most critical gaps faced by women entrepreneurs. We must all work together to close the financing gender gap. This is why the Pitch Finale event matching women entrepreneurs with investors is so timely!”