The Noordelijke Ontwikkelingsmaatschappij (NOM), Founded in Friesland and Founded in Groningen will together take concrete steps towards more diversity in the Northern Dutch startup world. In doing so, the three parties are linking up with TechLeap.nl's #FundRight initiative to create equal access to funding and opportunities for all startup founders, regardless of background or gender.
Unfortunately, a telling fact is that less than 2% of all venture capital investments in the Netherlands went to companies founded and led by women, and only 6.8% went to diverse teams. This while much research actually shows that companies perform better when led by mixed teams. Therefore, NOM wants to ensure more diversity not only in its portfolio but also in its own investment team over the next three years.
Leading the way together
"If we as the Northern Netherlands want to lead the way when it comes to diversity, we really need to take concrete steps and it cannot just remain words," said Dina Boonstra, director of the NOM. "Starting with awareness, working towards concrete tools that both entrepreneurs and fund managers can work with. As NOM, we have linked Fundright to KPIs: within three years all startups and scale-ups in which we invest will have a management team consisting of at least 35% women. And that also applies to our own investment team."
NOM will also actively collaborate in this with Founded in Groningen and Founded in Friesland (formerly Strong Frisian Entrepreneurship), with a special digital event in mid-November. "We think it is important to actively contribute to this and call on startups to put diversity high on the agenda themselves as well," believes Lusanne Tehupuring, Private Lead of Founded in Groningen. "That's why we want to help startups engage in diversity. They can come to us for questions and opportunities. And in addition, we also want to offer entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds a bigger stage on our platform."
Awareness around diversity is key to a favorable business climate. "One of our goals is to increase the success rate of startups in the region. Promoting diversity within founder teams contributes to that," adds Erwin Damberg, Private Lead of Founded in Friesland.