This is where female founders can find the right funding for their startup

Whether it's money from venture capitalists or prize sponsors, networks or events - there are more and more support programmes specifically for women entrepreneurs. An overview of the best-known programs - and for whom they are suitable.

Grace

Photo: Ignore Gravity GmbH

The Grace Accelerator is aimed at future female entrepreneurs. It is designed to help them develop their idea to the point where their desire to start becomes a concrete plan. For this purpose, a two and a half week summer camp takes place every year. There are various workshops on topics such as design thinking, legal, marketing, finance and investment. Coaches and mentors train the aspiring female founders in the development of start-up concepts and business plans. Participation is open to women or mixed teams.

Grace Summer Camp 2019 participants at the closing event on Aug. 16, 2019, in Berlin. Photo: Ignore Gravity GmbH

Grace also runs a Grünnnderinnen loft in Berlin-Kreuzberg. This is meant to be a space for ideas, creativity and entrepreneurship and an opportunity to expand one's network. Additionally, Grace digital is currently in the works. This is supposed to be a platform for female founders that accompanies them step by step.

Grace: at a glance

What funding is available?

  • Pre-Accelerator for Female EntrepreneurshipFounder loft
  • in Berlin KreuzbergSummer camp
  • for female foundersFounder platform
  • (planned)

Who will be supported?

  • All-female or mixed teams of founders

What industry is being funded?

  • All industries

What stage of development do startups need to be in?

  • Early stage startups that want to develop their idea.

How long does the program last?

  • 2.5 week summer camp

What is the cost?

  • Not specified


Female Founders

Photo: Female Founders

Female Founders

is a pan-European community of female founders with around 5,500 members and over 80 mentors. Anyone can become a member, from entrepreneurs to employees to investors. One of the programs offered is Grow F, an online accelerator for women-led startups is.

Grow F

The Viennese accelerator GROW F is aimed at start-ups from all over Europe. To participate, at least one of the founders must be female. The three-month program is also aimed at early-stage startups, but those that already have a product and are now preparing for their first round of investment. Each startup is assigned a mentor. Among them are, for example, N26 Germany CEO Georg Hauer, investor Elisabeth Löwenbourg-Brzezinski or Deeptech investor Namratha Kothapalli.

The Female Founders Community is all about empowering women through entrepreneurship. Our community, which consists of a diverse group of entrepreneurial women, exists to empower women and equip them with an entrepreneurial mindset as well as a powerful network.

-Female Founders
Group photo at Demo Day
.
Photo: Female Founders

Female Founders: At a glance

What funding is available?

  • Base F: a community for those who identify as entrepreneurial
  • Grow F: online startup accelerator for women-led businessesLead F
  • :
  • leadership accelerator for women entrepreneurial minds
.

Who gets funded?

  • All-female or mixed teams of founders

What industry is being funded?

  • All industries

What stage of development do startups need to be in?

  • Early stage, but already with a product

How long does the program last?

  • Three-month online accelerator program.

What are the costs?

  • In the case of a commitment: 1,000 euros
  • However, the money must be transferred back to founders after successful participationIn
  • the
  • case of a successful fundraising from 50,000 euros, a success fee is incurred
  • .
  • The amount is set at five percent of the total investment sum, with the upper limit being 15,000 euros.


F-Lane

Photo: F-Lane

F-LANE is a five-week virtual accelerator program for young entrepreneurs with the ambition to drive global change through women empowerment. It is implemented by the Vodafone Institute, in collaboration with Yunus Social Business

. For this, the institute is particularly looking for women-led technology startups that solve a social problem in an entrepreneurial way. Through the cooperation with Yunus Social Business, which was founded by Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus, there is a close network of over 300 international mentors. Launched in 2016, the institute's program aims to minimize gender inequality in the tech industry. To this end, it pursues three core goals. One is to increase female representation in the tech world. The second is to use technology as a force for social change. Finally, the Vodafone Institute aims to close the gender innovation gap in this way.
"It was for female founders, it was for female empowerment, and it was also a promise of getting to the next level. When I saw F-LANE, I knew this was something for me.", Sami Haimoura, founder of Securella. Photo: F-Lane

The program provides female founders with mentors and subject matter experts, in addition to access to a community for cross-industry exchange. In addition, the founders gain access to the Impact Hub community, which includes over 15,000 social innovators, as well as the Social Entrepreneurship Academy

and the YSB Global Impact Community. Likewise, the program provides access to business partners and investors, to whom the founders are also introduced in person.

All startups that are either women-led or empower women in their roles are eligible to apply for F-Lane

. The startups must also have a social mission and a scalable business model. What is most important here is an entrepreneurial, technology-based solution to a social problem. All teams that have already developed an initial prototype and are ready to launch into operations are eligible to apply.

F-Lane: At a glance

What funding is available?

  • Online Accelerator Program

Who will receive funding?

  • Women-led start-ups
  • Startups that empower women in their roles
  • Startups with technology-based solutions to a social problem

What industry is being funded?

  • TechSocial
  • Entrepreneurship

What stage of development do startups need to be in?

  • Start-ups should have developed at least one prototype

How long will the program take?

  • Five weeks

What are the costs?

  • Free of charge


FemGems Club

The online accelerator FemGems Club

connects female founders with mentors. It does not matter in which development phase the own company is currently in. FemGems Club is aimed at female founders in the early stages, solo founders, co-founders, founding mothers and all other interested parties. To start, female founders receive a mentor, a progress partner, and a masterminds group.

We ourselves have participated in various startup programs, incubators and accelerators and were always sad when they were over. Entrepreneurship is one of the most challenging paths you can take in life and we believe that every female founder needs continuous support and guidance, not just an intensive one-off program. That's why the FemGems Club is a subscription-based membership.

FemGems Club

The assigned mentors change every two weeks, depending on the current topic. With the so-called Progress Partner, female founders exchange ideas on a weekly basis in order to be able to advance their work. Meetings with the Masterminds group take place bi-weekly and serve to exchange challenges, ideas, expertise and perspectives with other female founders.

FemGems Club: At a glance

What funding is available?

  • Online accelerator program that connects female founders with mentors

Who gets funded?

  • All founders

What industry is being funded?

  • All industries

What stage of development do startups need to be in?

  • Doesn't matter

How long does the program take?

  • Permanent subscription-based membership

What is the cost?

  • 80 Euro per month


Women Tech Founders

The initiative of "Startup Mannheim" and "gig7"

wants to offer female tech founders a platform and a network for exchange. The goal is to inspire women for tech topics and their own company and thus to increase the number of female founders in the tech sector. In addition, the aim is to create a sustainable and innovative start-up scene in Mannheim.

For this purpose, "Women Tech Founders"

offers different projects and events. For example, they have created a platform for inspiring women from the tech industry with their interview series "Role Model". So-called Role Models tell their stories there and want to inspire other talents to use their skills and pursue their ideas.
Photo: GIG7 Competence Center FeMale Business and Hackerstolz e.V.

In addition, "Women Tech Founders" together with "Hackerstolz Women" organizes the "FEMALE'S FAVOUR(IT)E CONFERENCE", which offers women of all ages and professional backgrounds the opportunity to exchange and network on tech topics. With exciting talks, workshops and networking, the one-day conference offers the opportunity to learn about technology and entrepreneurship and become part of a community.

Another goal of the initiative, in addition to networking, which is driven by numerous events such as a Founders' Lunch, is to create a female tech talent pool. In order to diversify tech startups and companies, the initiative wants to unite and network all capable minds be it female students, budding entrepreneurs or young professionals in one talent pool.


Global Digital Women

Photo: GDW

The organization Global Digital Women, which started as a small network meeting in Berlin, has now developed into a Europe-wide network. Founder and executive director Tijen Onaran

's main goal with GDW is to advance the networking and visibility of digital minds. The organization's goal is to accelerate equality and make women visible across industries with a focus on digital projects.

To this end, there are numerous events. The so-called "Diversity Events", for example, deal with all topics related to diversity, funding as well as inclusion and are also open to non-members.

With the "Female Empowerment Day", GDW organises keynotes, workshops or panel discussions together with its partners, where participants get content for their professional development.

Founder Tijen Onaran in Berlin in June 2019. Photo: Urban Zintel

"Recruiting Events" also serve to support GDW's partners who are looking for female talent and a more diverse workforce. There, companies and potential female candidates can get to know each other, exchange ideas and, in the best case, come together. Global Digital Women also offers workshops on diversity, equality, personal branding, employer branding and social media. In addition, GDW presents the Digital Female Leader Award and FemBiz SwissAward

awards.

Global Digital Women: at a glance

What funding is available?

  • Workshops, networking and recruitment events

Who gets funded?

  • Designers in the digital industry

Which industry is being promoted?

  • Digital industry

What stage of development do startups need to be in?

  • Doesn't matter

How long does the program take?

  • There are different events and workshops with different durations

What are the costs?

  • Here, not the women themselves become members, but corporate partners who would like to support
  • GDWNo
  • costs
  • are
  • involved
.


TWIN-TwoWomenWin

Photo: TWIN

For all female founders who are looking for a free mentoring program, the Käte Ahlmann Foundation offers TWIN- TwoWomenWin. The mentoring program was created in 2004 together with the Gesellschaft für innovative Beschäftigungsförderung mbH (G.I.B.) in Bottrop

.

Meanwhile, the program offers nationwide support for aspiring female entrepreneurs. To this end, the foundation brings together successful female entrepreneurs from a wide range of industries with young female entrepreneurs. Over one year long discussions take place, in which the foundresses can learn from experienced entrepreneur inside something about all questions of the business everyday life. In order to further educate the mentors, the foundation's own workshops on self-marketing, communication, sales techniques and rhetoric are held on a regular basis. At the foundation's weekend seminars, up to 25 young and seasoned female entrepreneurs from a wide range of industries meet to learn from each other.

The Käte-Ahlmann Foundation provides female founders with volunteer mentors. Foto: gettyimages/748344619/Westend61

During the entire process, the Käte-Ahlmann Foundation is available as a contact person. All female founders who have been self-employed for at least one year and whose company is at a growth threshold or in the process of change can participate in the program.

TWIN: At a glance

What funding is available?

  • Free mentoring program for one year

Who will receive funding?

  • Female founders who have been self-employed for at least one year and whose business is at a growth threshold or in the process of change

Which industry is eligible?

  • All industries

What stage of development do startups need to be in?

  • After the start-up phase in the
  • process of growth or change
.

How long does the program last?

  • One year

What are the costs?

  • One-time lump sum for mentees of 250 €.


Women.start.up!

Photo: women.start.up!

The initiative Women.start.up! of the VC Unternehmertum of

the TU Munich aims at motivating women for the topics start-up and technology. To this end, it offers workshops on various topics, including prototyping, leadership and venture financing. The female founders are also provided with trainers and mentors, and there are networking events. In addition, the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the TU Munich supports all aspiring female founders in finding the right program for them. The Women.start.up! initiative is not limited to female students at the Technical University, but is aimed at all interested female founders.

Women.start.up: at a glance

What funding is available?

  • Network and community for female founders

Who gets funded?

  • All interested female founders

What industry is being funded?

  • All industries

What stage of development do startups need to be in?

  • Doesn't matter

How long does the program take?

  • Unlimited

What are the costs?

  • Free of charge


Push up

Photo: gründerinnnenzentrale

In addition to advice for female founders, the Berlin Start-up Centre also offers the opportunity to network. With initiatives like the Gründerinennfrühstück, the Gründerinnestammtisch or network evenings, the Förderungszentrale wants to build a strong community. In addition, the incubator offers a mentoring programme for female entrepreneurs. With the program "Push up"

it addresses itself to existence foundresses. All Berlin women who have a concrete start-up idea or have founded a company within the past two years can apply. Push up then provides them with a mentor who is to support them in assuming their role as founders and managers. To this end, the female founders are accompanied for at least six months. A special focus is placed on the challenges that women in particular face when founding a company, for example, the compatibility of starting a business and being a mother, or difficulties in getting ahead due to outdated role attributions.

Push up: At a glance

What funding is available?

  • Mentoring program for at least six months

Who will receive funding?

  • Berlin-based female entrepreneurs with a concrete start-up idea or a start-up that is less than two years old.

Which industry is supported?

  • All industries

What stage of development do startups need to be in?

  • Early Stage

Duration of the program:

  • Six months

Cost:

  • Administration fee of 133 euros, which is waived if the mentee is or becomes a cooperative member of the WeiberWirtschaft.


bga-federal agency for female founders

The bga is a Germany-wide competence and service centre for women's entrepreneurial independence. Photo: bga

The federal agency for women entrepreneurs (bga)

is a competence and service centre for women's entrepreneurial independence and has been bundling the activities available in Germany for women founders, entrepreneurs, female start-ups and business successors since 2004. The bga offers cross-industry information, consulting services, continuing education, networking opportunities, and facts & figures on all phases of business start-up, expansion and succession.

Under the roof of the bga are, consulting facilities for the Erst- and orientation consultation, Expertinnen and experts for the deepened specialized consultation as well as Germany far networks for foundresses, female Start-ups and entrepreneur inside to the specialized exchange on eye level united.

In terms of projects, the bga coordinates, among others, the campaign 'Succession is female!' with its annual national action days and the task force on business succession by women. The roadshow 'Meine Zukunft: Chefin im Handwerk' (My future: female boss in the trades) is touring Germany under the direction of the bga, and with Kite - the KI THinktank Female Entrepreneurship, the bga is focusing on combating discrimination against female founders by means of artificial intelligence.

bga: At a glance

What funding is available?

  • Information on nationwide events, counseling, networking, and mentoring programs.

Who gets funded?

  • all self-employed women

Which industry is eligible?

  • All industries

What stage of development do startups need to be in?

  • all phases

Duration of the program:

  • permanent information portal

Cost:

  • no costs

(Photo: Startbase)

Female Founders Week 2021

This article is part of our special on female entrepreneurship in Germany.

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