Kit Gillet recently published an article with the collaboration of 8 TOP women investors in CEE on Sifted, a new media site for Europe’s innovator and entrepreneurs. Among leading female investors in the region is also our Managing Partner and co-founder of South Central Ventures, Tatjana Zabasu Mikuž. She’s been a VC investor since 2007 and has been actively involved in over 40 investments. Prior to that she worked in the public sector and then in corporate finance for Deloitte. Read the excerpt of the interview below:
How has the involvement of women in the entrepreneurial sector in Slovenia changed in recent years?
I’d say women in our region have traditionally been quite active entrepreneurs. Maybe not so much as startup founders, but still, one can find many women leading companies, primarily small and mid-sized, or holding important positions. And I think the trend is positive, with more and more women deciding to be the masters of their destiny and start something on their own.
In which sectors of the startup space are female entrepreneurs most active?
Many companies led or started by women were related to healthcare and medicine, education (such as our portfolio company Labbox) and companies dealing with human resources in one way or another. Needless to say, these were all companies developing new technologies and digitalising traditional industries and activities.
What can be done to improve the participation of women in the entrepreneurial sector in CEE?
It’s the mindset of women that is most important. I believe there are numerous incentives for women to become entrepreneurs and the importance of diversity (and not only gender diversity) is more and more recognised. We just need equal opportunities, and then it is up to us to seize them.
I don’t believe in women not getting financing because they are women. I’d argue it’s often because women tend to be more cautious and afraid to dream big, thus the investment opportunities might not seem attractive enough. And fewer women come seeking VC financing.
Recent investments: South Central Ventures has made 28 investments over the past four years. Among those, Labbox has two female founders, Alchemy Cloud has a female founder and chief executive while ConveyIQ (now part of Entelo) was also founded and managed by a woman. Many of their other portfolio companies have women in C-suite positions.
Read the entire interview on Sifted.