From the Funding Gap to the Financial Gender Gap: Financial literacy as key leverage to women’s empowerment

Sistafund
5 min readOct 3, 2023

At SISTAFUND, we are deeply convinced of the need to combat the funding gap that prevents women founders from having equal access to finance. Since our creation a year ago, we have publicly invested in 5 start-ups* led by brilliant women (and men!) entrepreneurs who have demonstrated great ability to deploy game-changing solutions.

But unequal access to funding is just one part of a wider picture in which women are left out of many financial issues. Yet financial empowerment is essential to achieving gender equality and integrating women into the economy. With such a huge challenge, where should we start?

267 years: is the time before we get to close the financial gender gap

It’s not great news: to date, no country has achieved financial equality between men and women. Most of the world’s wealth is still concentrated in the hands of a few men, who earn far more than their female counterparts.

Women earn around 37% less than men in similar positions (Pew Research Center, 2023)

One could say that the integration of women into the workforce has solved part of the problem. But that’s without taking into account the gender pay gap and the glass ceiling that still prevents women from rising to senior management positions. As a reminder, only 10% of Fortune 500 CEOs are women.

Yes, women can now earn a (smaller) living. Having money is one thing, but how to use it is another crucial question in building financial stability and achieving your life’s goals.

Financial literacy as key leverage to women’s empowerment

Financial literacy is the knowledge of budgeting, saving and investing that enables individuals to make informed decisions about their personal finances.

Both women and men need to have sufficient financial knowledge to participate effectively in economic activities and make appropriate financial decisions. Unfortunately, women often have less financial knowledge, less confidence and less access to formal financial products than men.

Due to a poor financial knowledge, as well as factors such as the gender pay gap, women may find it difficult to cope with unexpected expenses, achieve their financial goals or retire at the age they want.

Empowering women and improving their living conditions automatically involve having access to financial education.

Watch out : things are moving

64% of women would like to be more active in their finances, including investment decisions (Fidelity 2021)

Closing the financial gap is a priority, even for the tech ecosystem. Over the last few years, we have seen some brilliant founders realize that creating spaces where women can nurture their financial health represents a huge opportunity.

It’s hard not to mention Ellevest, the personal finance management tool that has brought together a large social community of 3 million women. Or Vestpod, the start-up created by the author of You’re Not Broke You’re Pre-Rich, an educational platform that helps women learn how to manage their money. But we could also add : Plan Cash, YourJuno, The Curve, Alpher and many more.

Female Invest to bridge the financial gap

In our pursuit of narrowing the funding gap we knew at SISTAFUND we wanted to back founders who were tackling this challenge. Our journey led us to Anna-Sophie, Camilla, and Emma : the Female Invest founders.

“Our goal is to equip women with the knowledge and confidence to take control of their financial future, and we believe [our solution] will be a game-changer in achieving that.” Anna-Sophie says.

Since 2019, this exceptional founding team has already managed to create a community of +350,000 people on social media and over +40,000 subscribers. Their impressive trajectory began in Denmark, took them to Y Combinator in 2021, before expanding their reach across Europe from the Nordics to the UK. This journey has its roots in a user-friendly platform where women can access an in-depth financial learning experience and a safe space to share information.

In 2022, they achieved a significant milestone with the acquisition of Gaia, a sustainability-focused investment platform in Denmark. This strategic move positions them to provide trading capabilities to their subscribers, effectively bridging the gap between theory and practice.

Their community once again demonstrated its fervor with the release of their investment book “Girls Just Wanna have Funds”, with 20,000 copies sold in the first 30 days.

Follow our lead, join Female Invest’s community

Female Invest’s team commitment to empowering women in the financial realm is both impressive and inspiring. We, at SISTAFUND, are convinced that integrating women into the production of wealth can only lead to greater sustainable economic growth, stability and resilience.

And that is why today, we are thrilled to share that we support their journey and officially. Partnering with Anna-Sophie, Camilla and Emma, as well as their first investors is the promise of working towards creating a more egalitarian society. Proud to join our friends at Educapital as well as collaborating with top VC investors including Y Combinator, Green Visor Capital, New Theory Ventures and Educapital — and esteemed Business Angels, including Mila Wagner and Fiona Pathiraja in building the « Robinhood for women ».

To discover more about their mission and how people can contribute to reducing the gender financial gap, here is Female Invest.

*Astran, Optimiz, The Exploration Company, Underdog, Vizzia and now Female Invest!

SISTA Fund I is a French Private Equity Professional Fund (FPCI) managed by 50 Partners Gestion, AMF registered number GP20000037.

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Sistafund

We are a new generation of venture capital funders backing exceptional female founders and gender-balanced teams