2023 Brochure released!

Rethinking Women in Start-Ups

Day 1 - 5th Oct | 15:15 - 15:55

Location: Sustainable Communities Theatre

People & Purpose

Overview

Women on average start more businesses with a larger purpose in mind. They are statistically proven to be more empathic, excel at multitasking and are usually more conscious of their social responsibility. Unfortunately, women founders are often underfunded compared to their male counterparts even though they are more likely to produce better results. In an effort to shake up the status quo, we need to dive deeper into the technicalities so that we can find out how to leverage the power of women founders to nurture a more equitable and sustainable economy.

Learnings

  • In 2019, 2.8% of funding went to women-led start-ups; in 2020, that fell to 2.3%. Some speculate that the pandemic made investors more wary of risks and more likely to stick to their existing networks. This statistic stands in stark contrast to research that showed female-founded and co-founded start-ups tend to perform better than all-male ones. What are the economic opportunities that come with investing in women?
  • Why does the start-up and investment community not embrace more women owned start-ups?
  • Empowering women founders is something that many in the Hong Kong business community have already caught onto but how are we falling short?
  • Is “social capital” affecting access to funding? If so, how can women broaden their networks to gain access to a larger variety of funding sources?

Post Event Actions

  • Address structural biases built into funding decisions
  • Bringing more women into VC firms and institutional investors could mean more creative and unconventional problem solving and could help broaden the lens of potential investments.
  • Start-up accelerator and mentors focused on empowering young entrepreneurs
  • Additional networking opportunities for women in leadership roles to help support and encourage one another

Speakers

MODERATOR

Victoria Wisniewski Otero

Founder & CEO

Resolve Foundation

Victoria Wisniewski Otero

Founder & CEO

Resolve Foundation

Victoria is the Founder & CEO of the Hong Kong nonprofit Resolve Foundation. Previously, she was the Advocacy & Campaigns Manager of Justice Centre Hong Kong and a Researcher at the Center for Economic and Social Rights. She has been an advisor for CIVICUS and PIL-Net, a Gen-T honoree in 2018 and received AmCham’s Women of Influence Young Achiever Award in 2020.

My Sustainability Goals for 2021:

We are launching a campaign called #EveryActionMatters – to empower people in the public to take everyday action to be allies and active bystanders through an equality toolkit and series of experiential workshops. We believe big change starts with small steps to drive inclusion in our community and spheres of influence.

Karena Belin

Founder & CEO

WHub and AngelHub

Karena Belin

Founder & CEO

WHub and AngelHub

Founder of WHub and AngelHub. Member of several think tanks and government steered committees in Hong Kong and Germany. International keynote speaker, judge and mentor incl. 10 Best Female Entrepreneurs of the World award by True Global Ventures and Women of Hope Awardee. Previously, Finance Group Manager at Procter&Gamble in Europe, Northeast Asia and Greater China.

My Sustainability Goals for 2022:

More investments in the tech companies fuelling our sustainable Future!

Olivia Cotes-James

Founder

LUÜNA naturals

Olivia Cotes-James

Founder

LUÜNA naturals

Olivia is the founder and CEO of LUÜNA. She is Forbes 30 Under 30 class of 2021, Tatler’s Generation T 2021, Hong Kong Women’s Advocate of the Year 2020 and the IPWS Young Business Leader of the Year 2020. LUÜNA is a purpose-driven period wellness company. Built between Hong Kong and Shanghai, LUÜNA exists to redefine the traditional period care industry to create social and environmental impact. Olivia launched the company in 2019, after learning about the harmful effects of the traditional period industry’s use of conventional cotton and non-cotton materials. Today, healthy LUÜNA period care products are available for subscription online, through retailers including Watsons and in bathrooms of major corporations and schools through the company’s unique dispenser system.

My Sustainability Goals for 2021:

1. Increase education around and adoption of reusable period care products to vastly reduce plastic period waste.

2. Launch subscription service which offers the user a carbon free period by working with partners to offset carbon emissions from the service.

3. Support corporates, schools, brands and organizations to supply eco-friendly period care products.

Devana Ng

Co-Founder

Invisible Company

Devana Ng

Co-Founder

Invisible Company

Devana is the co-founder of Invisible Company, she is actively promoting Eco With Attitude through daily actions for a better and plastic free living. Today they are offering alternative, sustainable packaging solutions to brands with #INVISIBLEBAG which is water-soluble, compostable and biodegradable, proven to be non-toxic, non-harmful to the environment.

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