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FEM-START offers female entrepreneurs a dream start!

female entrepreneurs

Participants of the FEM-START Up Awards can win 100,000 euros in investment funds.

Only 0.6% of all venture capital in the Netherlands currently goes to female entrepreneurs (Source: Techleap). The funding gap is in a poor state, and the lack of improvement could be much better. There is a noticeable decline; in 2020, at least 1% was invested in “female” enterprises. This motivated FEM-START to encourage ambitious female entrepreneurs to launch and grow their startups. The organization will do this in the autumn of 2023 through a startup competition. The competition’s winner will receive a whopping 100,000 euros in investment for her company, thanks to Antler, an innovative global startup generator and venture capitalist.

It remains remarkable that so little investment is made in female entrepreneurs,” says Marian Spier (co-founder and CEO of FEM-START). “Because companies founded by women ultimately generate higher revenues than their counterparts. This alone should make female entrepreneurs more attractive to investors. Moreover, it has also been proven that increased funding for female entrepreneurs positively impacts the entire economy and society. It is time we break open the investment world and make it more inclusive.” Saskia van den Ende (Director of Antler) adds, “The startup ecosystem in the Netherlands truly needs more diversity. This competition provides female entrepreneurs a platform to pitch their business, receive expert guidance and support, secure funding, or significantly increase their chances of obtaining venture capital funding.

Join the FEM-START Up Awards and have a chance to win a 100,000 euro investment. Female entrepreneurs can submit their startups for the FEM-START Up Awards from June 14, 9:00 AM CET until September 15, 5:00 PM CET via A panel of judges will review the selection for the pre-pitches, which will take place in Rotterdam, Utrecht, Eindhoven, and Amsterdam, from which five finalists will be chosen. The final of the FEM-START Up Awards – Powered by Antler will take place on November 3, where the finalists will present their business ideas in English to a panel of experts from the venture capital and startup world. The winner will receive a 100,000 euro investment in her company, and the second prize is a trip to Silicon Valley.

About FEM-START: FEM-START is the first platform in the Netherlands that provides education, mentorship, and a community to bridge the funding gap for female entrepreneurs. It offers online courses that cover all elements of various types of financing. The platform also helps in preparing investment applications for venture capital organizations. Additionally, entrepreneurs can become part of a community of over 800 + ambitious female entrepreneurs through FEM-START. With this, FEM-START is building a sustainable ecosystem of women-led businesses. FEM-START was founded by Simone van Bijsterveldt, Sandra van der Pal, Ellen Tacoma, and Marian Spier. The mission of FEM-START is to educate more than 100,000 women in fundraising and ultimately close the funding gap. Visit for more information.

About Marian Spier: Marian Spier (CEO of FEM-START) is one of the leading female social entrepreneurs in the Netherlands, passionate about creating positive social change and highlighting women who excel in business. In 2018, she received a Business Angel Award from the European Union for her work with the TEDxAmsterdamWomen Startup Awards, presented to a woman who has positively influenced the Early-Stage Investment arena. In 2020, Marian continued her work and passion by launching FEM-START, aiming to create a sustainable environment for women-led startups in the Netherlands and beyond.

Note for the editors: For more information about the FEM-START Up Award or interview requests with Marian Spier, please contact Marjolein van den Broek at +31 6 42562907 or


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