We know that start-ups led by women are receiving less investment now than ever, but new research from the Vienna University of Economics and Business has analysed the over-representation of men in tech start-ups – and it’s fairly depressing…

The study, conducted by Sonja Sperber and co-author Christian Linder, has suggested that a lack of investment into women-led businesses is down to one simple thing – the perception that tech start-ups are founded by someone who is young, white and male.

And with investors looking for a ‘safe’ option, they are continuing to ignore women start-ups.

The author of the report Sonja Sperber offered: “Even though the ‘distinctiveness’ of female founders is important for investors, it does not play a crucial role. While female founders need to be as different as possible in order to stand out from the competition, the study suggests that being female already deviates too much from the normative standard.

“As a result, female founders are not able to prove themselves in the first place because they are simply denied the chance, or the investors’ funding, to do so, regardless of their education or experience.”

Women in Games’ work aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) and is primarily focused on Goal 5: ‘Achieve Gender Equality & Empower all Girls and Women’. Two of our six priority areas to advance this goal in 2023 are  #2  Entrepreneurship: opportunities, investment and funding and   #5 Diverse Creative Representation: of women and their ideas in platforms, products & services. The Women in Games Investment and Entrepreneurship Forum is a crucial activity for empowering women and enhancing the sector.

Commenting on the report, Women in Games CEO Marie-Claire Isaaman offered: “It’s incredibly frustrating to read reports like this that suggest that investors are not backing women-led start-ups because they feel they are less ‘safe’. But sadly, we’re not surprised by these findings.

“Time and again we hear from our community of the struggles women face when looking for investment or other support – despite the talent and business nous that they boast.

“And this is why one of Women in Games’ key goals this year is to encourage, empower andeducate  women,  providing all the support necessary to  assist them in  achieving their ambitions.”

To that end, Women in Games  is hosting the Investment & Entrepreneurship Forum, an event dedicated to giving women the opportunity to engage with experts on how to get investment-ready, and how to attract investment. But crucially, the event will also allow them to interact with investors, publishers and other business support individuals to discuss opportunities and collaborations.

The event will take place this May, and we will provide more information on it over the coming weeks. But if you are interested in speaking about your own experiences in this area, or if you’re a potential investor or publisher, we would love to hear from you. Simply email hello@womeningames.org, using ‘Investment & Entrepreneurship Forum’ in the subject line.

Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash