‘Why Only 1% of Venture Capital Goes to Companies Founded by Women’; Anna Stenberg – Entrepreneur 2019


At the Yes Box office of Gothenburg, Anna-Carin Sandberg Jödahl from Drivhuset Norden announced to a packed audience of women entrepreneurs and aspiring businesswoman and a sprinkle of men, Anna Stenberg as the entrepreneur of 2019.

Anna Stenberg is the founding partner of WES group. WES is a recruitment company specialising in identifying women in managerial roles. It is the fastest growing recruitment company in Sweden in finding women for executive roles. In an interview to www.gothenburg-400.com Anna Stenberg said she felt great in receiving the honour, and she also credited her colleagues at WES for her achievement. She said the inspiration came to her to start the recruitment company because she experienced the under-representation of women in companies. She said, “I think I saw this as a problem, I was myself frustrated. I was cooperating with different recruitment agencies and I was annoyed and frustrated with headhunting agencies, they were really bad at finding female talent and female leaders and I only got male candidates in the short list all the time.” She shared that she is convinced that by improving diversity and by recruiting women, companies will only increase their profits.

Business Region Gothenburg and Yesbox organized the event ‘Cash is Queen’ as how to clear away the obstacles that women face in running their businesses. Successful women entrepreneurs shared their experiences with fellow women. During the course of the noon, experts and woman entrepreneurs highlighted the challenges and how they had overcome them including finance and investment. The Apps-Queen and Companies-Queen Susanne Birgersdotter spoke to the audience for more than an hour in extempore mode, and highlighted the challenges women face, and how one could overcome them.

A panel discussion was moderated by moderated by Klementina Österberg, CEO of GU Ventures, wherein to serial entrepreneurs and investors shared their experiences.

Sara Serray the founder of Wellibites shared about her company, and how she had overcome the initial challenges to become a successful businesswoman.

Debbie Lygonis VD at Friendbase shaerd her journey. She won the startup prize for 2018 in Instanbul. Her mantra to women was: try, do, do again, and again…and again….success!

Isabella Palmgren from Mimbly shared her experiences, and the need to save water and to have a sustainable environment in our midst.

Maria Lindström, business development officer at Business Region Göteborg told www.gothenburg-400.com that the idea to organize the event was to make everyone aware of the difficulties faced by women in getting venture capital for their businesses. “We want to see why there is such a difference … between women entrepreneurs and male entrepreneurs … why it is harder for women when they try to seek finance. To raise the question, and everyone to be aware of what is going on and how we can make a change,” She said. “It is not okay because it is only one percent of female entrepreneurs who get the finance, and they struggle a lot. We want to show it in a positive way and the challenges they face and to create inspiration.”

The event was aimed to inspire women from women entrepreneurs who broke the glass ceiling and emerged as successful as men in their respective fields.

Business Region Gothenburg is responsible for business development in the City of Gothenburg and represents 13 municipalities in the region. It strives to contribute to creating more jobs and for sustainable growth in the region’s business sector.

The event saw women from different backgrounds and varied business ideas were present at the event. Many got the opportunity to speak to those women who had finally emerged as successful entrepreneurs and in running their businesses.

The event ‘Cash is Queen’ was a collaboration between Business Region Gothenburg, Drivhuset Göteborg, Almi, Västra Götalandsregionen and Connect Väst! It was moderated by Mariah ben Salem Dynehäll. She is the CEO of Drivhuset, Gothenburg focussing on business development, entrepreneurship, process leadership, enterpreneurship training, and innovation – ideas to execution.