A healthy startup ecosystem is a diverse startup ecosystem. We need to give all entrepreneurs the platform and exposure that they deserve and should strive to create supportive communities that give them the tools and resources necessary for success.
As the first global startup competition for female founders in insurance, QBE is proud to support Quesnay's Female Founders in Insurtech Competition. According to recent data, only 2.7% of VC-funded startups in the U.S. have a female CEO – despite women-led businesses being one of the fastest growing segments of entrepreneurship in the U.S.
Providing equal opportunities to women-led startups is only the start. We must all do our part to create and sustain a diverse startup ecosystem if we are to tap into the full potential of emerging technologies and business models. This applies to all members of the ecosystem – from insurance carriers and intermediaries, to venture capitalists and accelerators. One example of where we need to be better is in the lack of outside investment for female-led companies. According to Harvard Business Review, venture capital firms with a female partner are three times more likely as firms without a female partner to invest in women CEOs (58% vs 15%) and, from a 2017 CrunchBase survey, only 15% of partner roles at VC firms and accelerators are women.
Highlighting the five finalists from the Female Founders in Insurtech Competition at this year’s InsureTech Connect conference will be a welcome addition to the conference’s jam-packed agenda featuring over 6,000 leaders and innovators from more than 50 countries. This is the type of stage that needs to be showcasing the contribution of a diverse set of entrepreneurs and I commend Jay Weintraub and Caribou Honig for their leadership in adding the final live pitch event to their exciting agenda.
At QBE, we know that diverse work cultures produce forward-thinking businesses. It’s the reason why we strive to create an inclusive culture that acknowledges and respects the diversity of our people and global footprint as a distinctive competitive advantage. Our leaders from across the globe are excited for the opportunity to support these women entrepreneurs and innovators throughout this competition and into the future!
* This blog post originally appeared on Linkedin