Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Natalie Gaudet

In 2011, I was prompted to write an article about the situation of female entrepreneurs. I wrote the article being fed up of being asked the same question countless of times, “where are all the women entrepreneurs”

I wanted to revisit the topic as I feel like the situation has changed tremendously in the last couple of years.  I am happy to say that I have seen an influx of women entrepreneurs in our scene.

Numbers are rising
In fact, if we compare, we are doing so much better than the United States.  We have estimated that 7 % are women technology founders in this region- (this figure was taken from the Startup Sauna applications.)   As opposed to only 3% in the United States (entering American Seed Accelerators).

Of course, one could argue that 7% is not that great considering the numbers but its steadily climbing. We are at a cusp of change as Universities around the world  are seeing their majority of graduates being female. Its only a matter of time where we will see women entrepreneurs dominate the numbers. There are no reason why there shouldn’t be women joining startups. Studies have proven that women help startups succeed . And that stocks perform better if women are on company boards.   Seems like common sense, no?

Networks
In the old article, I wrote about how it’s important to have a network. Since then, there seems to be so many of them popping up that that I’m starting to feel a bit partial to these groups.  Super Girls, Startup Sisters, Aalto Women in Business has join the ranks of Rail Girls and FutureFemale. Empowering women is what they all have in common.

I often wonder why is it that we need such groups? Women are welcome to any entrepreneurial event so why is there a need to have female focused event? It is great to have any kind of motivational activity, but I am also careful of groups who are about waving the feminist-flag-no-boys-allowed group.  After participating in some of these events and deliberating with a group of girlfriends, I came to the conclusion that it it is really enjoyable to get together just us girls and talk about issues. (I can’t deny it, it’s just plain fun!)

Local Role Models
I’m a true advocate for role models to promote entrepreneurs.
Here are some female entrepreneurs have caught my eye lately.
Kiki Ylimutka, Clerked
Nina Ignatius, Beibamboo
Nelli Lähteenmäki, Health puzzle
Claudia Anton, Nordic Hug
Anna Andersone, Froont

And while I’m add it,  Elina Arponen, Tina Ziliacus, Maria Engenstrom, Inka Mero, Helena Auramo  and Petra Söderling are still impressing me.   And now that I think about it, there are so many powerhouse female entrepreneurs that I look up to in this region. We should be proud and celebrate them. And after we celebrate, we go back to work and continue building great startups.

So if anybody ever asks you where are all the girls in the entrepreneur scene, send them to me- I’ll set them straight.

Conversation closed.

Natalie Gaudet has been part of Startup Sauna from its beginning and has been a crucial player in its success. After three years of building Startup Sauna and all of its activities, Natalie is now on the lookout for new and exciting opportunities.

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