Unlocking Profits with Gender Diversity: EBAN’s Commitment to Angel Investing

By Janne Jormalainen, EBAN President and FiBAN Chair Emeritus

In recent years, there has been a growing focus on gender diversity in the investment world, both in the venture capital and angel investment spaces. As the President of EBAN, I am proud to say that we have made gender diversity a priority in our organization, and we have seen the benefits of doing so. 

There is a growing body of research that shows that having gender-balanced investment teams leads to better business opportunities and higher profits. Forbes recently published an article that highlighted the profits that can be generated by investing in gender-balanced teams. According to the article, having at least one female founder in a founding team leads to 63% higher business value. This means that investing in female-led or co-founded companies is not only the right thing to do, but it also makes good business sense. 

Unfortunately, there is still a significant gender imbalance in the investment world, with 85% of VC partners in Europe being male and only 15% female. The angel investment world is similarly imbalanced, with about 90% male investors and only 10% female investors. According to the European women in VC report, less than 10% of venture capital investments went to women-led or co-founded companies, indicating a significant imbalance. This structural issue needs to be addressed, and we believe that diversity is the key to unlocking more profits. 

However, small actions can bring about a bigger change, such as ensuring investment teams or syndicates are diverse and that success stories of female-led and co-founded companies are publicized. Business angel networks can advance gender balance by having gender-balanced board seats and inviting female investors to participate. I always advise female investors to seek out mentors and consider female-focused funds or investors when entering the male-dominated industry, and suggest that success stories of female investors and entrepreneurs should be highlighted as I have myself invested in multiple successful female-led companies since the very start of my career as an angel.

At EBAN, we have taken several steps to ensure that women and other underrepresented groups have equal opportunities to become angel investors. One of our recent initiatives was the Manifesto for a Gender Balanced Angel Investing Ecosystem, where we pledged to triple the number of female investors in our ecosystem. Setting ambitious goals is crucial to achieving results, and we have already seen positive movement in the market as a result of this initiative. Personally, I am inspired by the numbers that speak for themselves. Investing in female-led companies has been shown to lead to better exits for venture capital companies, and it’s impossible to build successful global companies without diversity. It’s not just about gender diversity, but also diversity in ethnicity and other factors. In conclusion, we believe that gender diversity is not only the right thing to do, but it also makes good business sense. We will continue to prioritize gender diversity in our organization and work towards creating equal opportunities for underrepresented groups. 

I am excited to be speaking at the EBAN Annual Congress 2023, where we will be further exploring women’s issues in angel investing and entrepreneurship. This is an incredible opportunity to learn from and connect with other investors who share my passion for supporting women entrepreneurs and investors. I encourage anyone who is interested in early-stage investing or who wants to learn more about supporting women-led startups to join us. Early bird tickets are still available at https://ebancongress.com/tickets/. I hope to see you there!