Despite record growth in recent years, there is significant inequality in Brazil’s startup ecosystem. Representation of women in the Brazilian innovation market is still very small: only 9.8% of startups have women among their founders, and 4.7% of startups are founded exclusively by women.
This discrepancy, however, is not tied to business performance: a 2018 Boston Consulting Group analysis showed that women-founded and co-founded startups that succeed in accessing funding ultimately deliver more than twice the revenue per dollar invested.
In May 2021, U.S. Department of State’s Providing Opportunities for Women’s Economic Rise (POWER) initiative awarded the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Brazil funding to help reduce this gender disparity and encourage the inclusion of more women entrepreneurs in the market. Partnering with the innovation consultancy Distrito and the accelerator B2Mamy, we recently announced support for the Female Scale program.
At the launch of the Traction Phase of the program, Holly Kirking Loomis, Political-Economic Counselor at the U.S. Consulate in São Paulo, highlighted the Mission’s commitment to support the inclusion of women: “Over the past five years, the U.S. Mission Brazil’s programs have impacted hundreds of women entrepreneurs and leaders who are actively working within their communities to promote gender equality and economic advancement. The Female Scale initiative is another vital step toward overcoming this inequality.”
Female Scale will provide strategic support to ten early-stage women-led technology startups in Brazil. They will undergo a three-month acceleration program that includes training, business content and technology education, fundraising strategy, mentoring with specialists, connections with companies and access to innovation centers. At the end of the program, they will participate in a pitch session in which they will compete for seed capital to boost their business. The three best-rated startups will be awarded: the first place will receive a contribution of 25 thousand reais, the second place will receive 15 thousand reais, and the third place will receive 10 thousand reais.
“We hope that these founders will serve as an example and inspire the participation of other women entrepreneurs in the innovation and technology ecosystem,” said the U.S. Consul General in Sao Paulo, Adam Shub. “In a field that thrives on diversity and inclusion, the acceleration of these women founders has meaningful implications for the startup sector and for the Brazilian economy.”
The ten selected startups are:
4 hábitos para mudar o mundo
Medei RH Tech
Resgreen – Plasticor
Learn more at: materiais.distrito.me/female-scale