Imperial College London

Women entrepreneurs need early support – Professor Maggie Dallman

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Professor Maggie Dallman

Startups founded by women are being overlooked, despite their higher return on investment, says Professor Maggie Dallman.

In a letter published by the Financial Times, Imperial’s Associate Provost (Academic Partnerships) wrote: “Fewer than one in 10 venture capital dollars go to companies with a female founder, despite studies indicating they make a higher return on investment. In this climate, visionary entrepreneurs are overlooked and markets remain untapped. As women are excluded from networks, the negative cycle perpetuates.”

The doyens of Silicon Valley can resemble an old boys’ network. It’s time to create a young women’s network. Professor Maggie Dallman Associate Provost (Academic Partnerships)

To fix this, Professor Dallman argues, women entrepreneurs need support at the “earliest stage”, through programmes like WEInnovate at Imperial.

WEInnovate “has backed hundreds of female student entrepreneurs with mentoring, startup contests and exposure to investor networks,” she wrote.

Such entrepreneurs include WithLula founder Olivia Ahn whose development of personalised menstruation products tap into a multi-billion dollar potential market.

Professor Dallman said: “The doyens of Silicon Valley wrap themselves in progressive rhetoric, but can resemble an old boys’ network. It’s time to create a young women’s network.”

The full letter can be read in today’s Financial Times. 

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Andrew Scheuber

Andrew Scheuber
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Email: a.scheuber@imperial.ac.uk

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Deborah Evanson

Deborah Evanson
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