In “We are Jane”, Belgium now has an exclusively female investment fund intended for women entrepreneurs. The details are reported on Friday in De Standaard and Het Nieuwsblad. The co-founder, Conny Vandendriessche, says women have too few opportunities and the environment is still fairly chauvinistic within the venture capital sector.
Conny Vandendriessche indicates, “It is a real gent’s club: some 94% of investors are men. Female entrepreneurs barely comprise 2% of the venture capital market.” She goes on, “The aim of our association is to remedy this situation.”
Ms Vandendriessche hopes to raise up to €50 million for her fund. Half of the fund is to be raised from the women themselves, and the other half by institutional investors such as pension funds, insurers and similar organisations. The fund is due to be launched in the last quarter of this year.
As Fund Manager, Ms Vandendriessche has focused upon targeting those growing start-up companies with a turnover of around €2 million. They must either be headed by a woman or have a woman as a substantial shareholder.