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Code V Alliance: The Initiative aimed at growing and accelerating female entrepreneurship in the Netherlands!

The inspiration for Code-V is largely drawn from a similar initiative in the United Kingdom, which led to the “Investing in Women Code” in 2019. From the annual reports presented so far, it follows, among other things, that simply asking signatories to collect certain data points creates greater awareness within these organizations about current practices that, with certain adjustments, can ensure a greater degree of equal treatment for women compared to other entrepreneurs. Furthermore, there is significant annual growth in the number of female entrepreneurs across European countries.

Code-V, the Dutch Code for Stimulating Female Entrepreneurship, is a commitment to support and accelerate the growth landscape for female entrepreneurs in the Netherlands by a large number of public and private parties, including banks and various types of financiers. Code-V focuses on the female entrepreneur with a growth orientation, who has a need for financing to scale her business. This can be in the start-up phase, but also in later growth phases of the company, including international expansion.

Hi Marian! Excited to discuss your involvement in the recent Code V Project. Can you provide a brief overview of Code V?

Code V is a collective of signatories dedicated to fostering the growth of female entrepreneurship. FEM-START is one of the initiators, with the ultimate goal of ensuring equal funding access for female entrepreneurs. Code V works towards collective action for investment-access parity.

What prompted your involvement in the Code V initiative?

In 2021, ABN Amro approached me to join the expert panel on Inclusive Banking, focusing on female entrepreneurship. Our research in the Netherlands led to a presentation to Queen Maxima. Following a request from the World Development Bank, Chantal from ABN AMRO suggested establishing a code for female entrepreneurship, leading to my participation in Code V.

One key aspect of Code V is creating an ecosystem for female entrepreneurship, allowing women to reach their full potential. Each country will establish a code, involving various stakeholders like banks, government, venture capitalists, and angels, all committed to promoting female entrepreneurship.

What’s the purpose, goals, and desired outcomes of this project?

Code V aims to create an entrepreneurial ecosystem, requiring collaboration among stakeholders to address issues. Reporting on signatories, legitimizing efforts, and fostering dialogue are crucial. The main goals include an equal evaluation criteria, promoting networking and mentorship programs, increasing visibility, and facilitating women’s participation in decision-making roles in financial institutions. We want to be a thought leader in increasing access for women in all sectors.

Increasing visibility is crucial in this regard: women need more role models and we want to measure this visibility. It is important to monitor and analyse the results to better promote and address female entrepreneurs’ needs. With FEM-START, we have taken measures to increase female entrepreneurship visibility with our awards and platform, and we have seen some very successful results out of it! 

What’s on the horizon for Code V? Any upcoming developments?

We’re forming a non-profit through a working group, legally aligning with Code V. We’re in the process of hiring a project leader. A female entrepreneurship advisory group, Panel V, is being established, with my involvement. This marks the next step in developing the code.

Find out more about Code V here!

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