World Business Angels Investment Forum
2020 World Congress, Swissotel The Bosphorus Istanbul
Global Woman Leaders Summit, 18 February 2020, Tuesday, Geneve Hall, 09.45 – 10.30

Panel 1
Why women-owned startups are a better bet

According to a recent study by the Boston Consulting Group, when women business owners pitch their ideas to investors for early-stage capital, they receive significantly less than men – a disparity that averages more than 1 million USD. Yet businesses founded by women ultimately deliver higher revenue – more than twice as much per dollar invested – than those founded by men, making women-owned companies better investments for financial backers.

One might think that gender plays no role in the realm of investing in early-stage companies. Investors make calculated decisions that are (or should be) based on business plans and projections. Moreover, a growing body of evidence shows that organisations with a higher percentage of women in leadership roles outperform male-dominated companies. Unfortunately, however, women-owned companies do not receive the same level of financial backing as those funded by men.

The panel will explore the real reasons for the gender-based funding challenge, ways to overcome the challenge, ways that women founders – while lobbying for long-term change – can operate intelligently in the current ecosystems. It will also discuss how women can be coached on the realities of the market and which institutions should play a more active role in easing access to finance for women entrepreneurs.


Dr Tina Allton, President and CEO of Chamber for Africa Diaspora Relations, UK

Danela  Arsovska, President, Macedonian Chambers of Commerce, North Macedonia
Emine Perviz Erdem, President, Turkey Woman Entrepreneurs Association (KAGIDER), Turkey
Feryal Nass, Founder & Chairwoman, Bahrain Entrepreneurship Organisation (BEO), Bahrain


World Business Angels Investment Forum
2020 World Congress, Swissotel The Bosphorus Istanbul
Global Woman Leaders Summit, 18 February 2020, Tuesday, Geneve Hall, 10.30 – 11.00

Panel 2
Future trends: The increasing role of women angel investor networks in early-stage equity markets

Notably, women entrepreneurs are stepping up to the plate: In a survey of 279 U.S. women entrepreneurs conducted jointly by Inc. and Fast Company, a surprising 42 percent said that in addition to running their own companies, they made personal investments in startups. On the flip side, of those who had raised outside capital, 38 percent said they specifically sought out female investors.

As of November 2017, according to the Angel Capital Association, 22 percent of angels are female. That percentage may sound low, but it is a lot higher than in the venture capital industry, where only 9 percent of decision-makers are female, according to CrunchBase. And the trend is upward: 30 percent of angels who began investing in the past two years are female. These women are more likely to consider the gender of the entrepreneurs they back than men are: 51 percent of female angels say an entrepreneur's gender is ‘highly important’ in their investment decisions, compared to only 6 percent of male angels.

But more experienced angels tend to write bigger checks than newer ones. That may explain why the size of women's checks are somewhat smaller: $26,500 on average in the U.S., compared to $37,700 for men.

All these statistics signal an increasing role for women angel investors in earl-stage equity markets. The panel discussants will attempt to predict the trend for the coming years and come up with ways to include more women in investing in startups. They will consider issues such as the type of financial training women need and how women can be encouraged to take more risks in equity markets.

María Jesús Fernández, Executive Director, Invest in Spain - ICEX, Spain

Lucy Chow, Executive Director, Women’s Angel Investor Network (WAIN), UAE
Dr Nikhil Agarwal, CEO, FIRST@IIT-Kanpur, India
Renata Brkić, Founder, Feelsgood Social Impact Investment Fund, Croatia

World Business Angels Investment Forum
2020 World Congress, Swissotel The Bosphorus Istanbul
Global Woman Leaders Summit, 18 February 2020, Tuesday, Geneve Hall, 11.00 – 11.30

Panel 3
Opportunities and challenges for women entrepreneurs in the global innovation value chain

The time for women leadership has come. Women have made impressive marks in politics and the business world, making their voices heard and breaking the glass ceiling of boardrooms, including those in the male-dominated tech industry.

More and more women parade into tech companies or even become startup entrepreneurs, making their mark in this male-dominant industry. In the 2017 Forbes list of the World’s 100 Most Powerful Women, 18 of these ‘she-bosses’ work in the tech industry. The rise of women startups is not a Western phenomenon. In China, where women are often relegated to a submissive back-seat role, 55% of startups are owned by women, according to the 2018 Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs.

Women do not wait for the future. When one woman helps another, amazing things happen, and they become innovators. This panel will explore how more women can be included in innovation processes in the startup economy, and in research and development. The discussants will also touch on opportunities for women entrepreneurs in early-stage equity markets and the challenges women entrepreneurs face as they create their success stories.

Mulemwa Moongwa, Secretary General, WBAF Global Woman Leaders Committee, Zambia

Adnan Akdemir, Vice President of the Turkish Trade Association of Business Angels (TBAA) and President - Sifisan Entertainment Investments, Turkey
Shaillee Chopra, Healthcare Technology Strategist, USA
Sonya Janahi, Board Member, Bahrain Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Bahrain