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Electrify Aotearoa addresses the entrepreneur gender gap in Wellington

Over 600 female founders came together in Wellington for Electrify Aotearoa, an event that addresses the global and local gaps in entrepreneurship.

Electrify Chairwoman, Marian Johnson says Wellington’s edition of Electrify Aotearoa focused on the growth of female founders despite them being disproportionately impacted by the recession – data revealed in a new study by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

“When we think about the added pressure of recession on founders, what’s new? They’re already pushing boulders uphill, they’re already struggling for capital, they’ve already had to build resilience and perseverance. Same thing, different day and if anything, it’s exactly this time when so many new founders will emerge,” says Johnson.

The event saw speakers such as Brianne West, founder of Ethique and Incrediballs, Brooke Roberts, Co-Founder of Sharesies, Judith Collins, Minister of Science, Innovation and Technology and others talk about the resilience of female founders across the world.

Collins also hinted towards the government providing additional support to the technology sector by improving the ESOP scheme, a system that grants company stock to employees.

Read more: The future of female start-up founders

She also hinted a potential “Global Growth Tech Visa” that helps Kiwi businesses acquire the best talent across the world.

Electrify Aotearoa was also the host to the premiere of the global documentary “Show Her the Money”, a movie that addresses how women worldwide are getting less than 2% of venture capital funding.

This is an issue of the investment capital world having been built by men, for men. This is about doing startups differently. We are a progressive nation with an appetite for ethical capitalism and our wāhine toa exemplify this superpower. If we can reach the bare minimum of parity amongst New Zealand founders, we’re looking at $32b of increased employment and GDP to our country’s bottom line,” says Johnson.

“Women may be less likely to do dumb stuff, but as founders they take broadly well-informed risks with an understanding of the opportunity at hand. In fact, despite being far less likely to receive investment, women founders outperform their male-founded counterparts, generating 78 cents of revenue for every dollar of funding.”

Electrify Aotearoa in Wellington is the third edition following successful Auckland and Christchurch events.

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