Launch of the new "EXIST-Women" funding line at the SCE

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The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection (BMWK) is expanding its start-up funding for female entrepreneurs and founders from the scientific community. To this end, the established EXIST funding program is being expanded to include the new "EXIST-Women" funding line. Munich University of Applied Sciences (HM) and its entrepreneurship center Strascheg Center for Entrepreneurship (SCE) committed themselves early on to the topic of entrepreneurship for future-oriented education. This commitment has made HM and SCE the leading entrepreneurial university in Germany. However, as the proportion of women who want to become entrepreneurs is still low, the SCE has created the "SCE Women" program under the new funding line, which aims to help increase the number of female founders through events, mentoring and networking activities.

"SCE Women" provides for an expansion of the existing support program for female founders in order to remove obstacles for female founders and better address their needs.

A new version of the support program will be implemented for female founders in the initial phase. This new version makes it possible to support start-ups in earlier phases and to lower the entry barriers for women in idea validation. Other innovations include monthly group coaching sessions (peer-to-peer learning), in which the founders participate in addition to their individual coaching sessions, as well as support from a mentor network to share experiences and expand business networks at an early stage. Furthermore, a Women Founders' Circle (peer-to-peer learning and support) has been set up to help female founders overcome specific challenges, as well as a Women Investors' Roundtable, which brings together female entrepreneurs with female investors to increase experience with entrepreneurial financial structures.

For more advanced female founders, the support offer is also intensified with workshops in the areas of business modeling, product and company development roadmapping, go-to-market strategy as well as financial and legal strategy development, including fundraising.

The prospective female founders go through a 6-month intensive program either as early-stage or late-stage founders.

We are delighted to be able to support so many female founders with their exciting ideas over the next few months.

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One of the goals of the German government's start-up strategy is to strengthen female start-up founders and diversity. At 20 percent, the EXIST funding statistics show that the proportion of female founders is higher than the national average and has been on the rise in recent years in particular. The commitment of the start-up networks has also contributed to this positive development with their wide range of offers for the targeted sensitization of women as well as for the promotion and networking of female founders.

New funding line

With EXIST-Women, women at their university who are interested in starting a business and have an affinity for entrepreneurship are given the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the topics of start-ups and self-employment at an early stage. Even more than before, the start-up networks at universities are to be encouraged to motivate female graduates, scientists, students and women with professional qualifications and a connection to the university (e.g. technical assistants, chemical-technical assistants, administrative assistants) to become entrepreneurs. The new EXIST funding line includes events, advice and support services as well as a financial grant for prospective female founders.