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SEB participating in initiative to promote female entrepreneurship

Raising capital is one of the greatest challenges that female company founders and entrepreneurs face. According to Di Digital, only one per cent of the capital invested in Sweden in 2020 went to companies founded by women – a trend that has remained constant since the business journal began following the development in 2015. To change this situation, Time to Raise is now being launched, an initiative supported by SEB, Microsoft for Startups, WeWork, Sircular and Invest Stockholm

The first step is an acceptance process in which start-ups in the IT and tech sectors with at least one female founder can apply. Those that qualify will be invited to participate in an eight-week long programme during which the entrepreneurs receive support. The programme’s main sponsor companies will use their networks and expertise to maximise the chance of the female entrepreneurs receiving capital.

“Both SEB as a bank and the Nordic countries as a region have a lot to gain by giving more entrepreneurs an opportunity to grow and achieve their dreams,” says William Paus, Head of the Private Wealth Management & Family Office division. “That there are so few companies with female founders who receive capital is something that is impeding the region’s development. Therefore it is only natural for us to be part of this and contribute with the vast expertise we have within SEB and among our customers.”

The candidates who are accepted will be assigned mentors with extensive experience in the venture capital fundraising process. The mentors will work together with the entrepreneurs and provide concrete tips and advice for increasing their chances of obtaining investment capital. Finally, the entrepreneurs will have an opportunity to pitch to investors looking to diversify their portfolios.

To be eligible to apply to the Time to Raise initiative, companies must have one or more female founders, be based in the Nordic region, and be active in the IT or tech sectors. In addition, the companies must have a focus on the UN Global Sustainable Development Goals and have completed a product launch and be able to show existing interest among potential customers.

The application process opens today, 17 September, and will continue through 10 October.

To read more about Time to Raise, click here.

Read press release from Microsoft about Time to Raise (in Swedish)