London, UK, February 1, 2023 – UBS today announced the shortlist for the firm’s 2022 Female Founder Award, which recognizes the next generation of women-led companies around the world, in the fields of financial (“fintech”) and enterprise technology. Now in its second year, the award aims to help close the funding gap between women entrepreneurs and their male counterparts, providing women-led businesses with access to investor-readiness training, mentoring, and networking opportunities that will help them take their company to the next level.
The winner will receive a cash prize of USD 10,000 and the opportunity to join the 2023 cohort of Project Female Founder, a four-month investor readiness, networking, and mentorship program created by UBS, that arms women entrepreneurs with fundamentals to help them access aligned capital. The award is in collaboration with UBS Next, the firm’s venture and innovation unit, which invests in and partners with early-stage fintech and tech start-ups and runs an incubator for innovation projects to convert ideas into viable businesses.
The award’s ceremony will be broadcast live on UBS’s LinkedIn channel at 1300 GMT on Friday, February 3, 2023. A panel of industry experts shortlisted hundreds of applicants down to 10, based on criteria including diversity, financial records, impact and growth potential, and leadership:
Financial Technology (“Fintech”):
Alice Nawfal, Co-Founder at Notabene (USA)
Caecilia Chu, CEO at YouTrip (Singapore)
Danielle Lawrence, Co-Founder at Freyda Limited (UK)
Khusboo Jha, Founder at BuyProperly Limited (Canada)
Inga Mullins, CEO at Fluency Group Ltd. (UK)
Nadine Mezher, Co-Founder at Sarwa (UAE)
Lubomila Jordanova, CEO at Plan A (Germany)
Natalia Mykhavlova, CEO of WeavAir (Canada)
Paulina Grnarova, CEO at DeepJudge (Switzerland)
Sapir Hadad, Co-Founder at FinityX (Israel)
“The caliber of applicants we’ve received for this year’s award, shows the true impact that women are making in the fields of financial and enterprise technology,“ said Emma Wheeler, Head of Women’s Wealth at UBS Global Wealth Management. “The funding gap that exists between women entrepreneurs and their male counterparts is stark and sadly, this reality is even greater for women of color and those in developing countries. This award enables us to shine a spotlight on the innovation and achievements of women entrepreneurs, while giving them the necessary tools to help them grow their companies.”
In 2021, UBS published a report entitled: “The funding gap: Investors and female entrepreneurs”, which examined the reasons behind the funding gap discrepancy and identified ways this can be narrowed. Due to the vast funding discrepancy between men and women, women entrepreneurs lack equal opportunities to innovate and build successful companies that can contribute to the global economy. Research suggests that women who receive funding, develop businesses that outperform their male counterparts.*
Unlocking the potential of women entrepreneurs would have tangible economic benefits. The Boston Consulting Group (“BCG”) estimates that equal participation in entrepreneurship would raise global GDP by 3–6%, boosting the economy by up to USD 5 trillion. ** Women entrepreneurs are also more likely to create new jobs, help local economies, and reinvest their earnings into the health and education of their families. BCG also found that startups founded and co-founded by women appear to be better investments, generating 78 cents of revenue per dollar invested, compared with 31 cents for men. ***
The UBS 2022 Female Founder Award’s ceremony will be hosted by Shelley Zalis, CEO of The Female Quotient, and broadcast live on UBS’s LinkedIn channel at 1300 GMT on Friday, February 3, 2023.
Notes to Editors
UBS convenes the global ecosystem for investing, where people and ideas are connected and opportunities brought to life, and provides financial advice and solutions to wealthy, institutional and corporate clients worldwide, as well as to private clients in Switzerland. UBS offers investment solutions, products, and impactful thought leadership, is the leading global wealth manager, provides large-scale and diversified asset management, focused investment banking capabilities, and personal and corporate banking services in Switzerland. The firm focuses on businesses that have a strong competitive position in their target markets, are capital efficient and have an attractive long-term structural growth or profitability outlook.
UBS is present in all major financial centers worldwide. It has offices in more than 50 regions and locations, with about 30% of its employees working in the Americas, 30% in Switzerland, 19% in the rest of Europe, the Middle East and Africa and 21% in Asia Pacific. UBS Group AG employs more than 72,000 people around the world. Its shares are listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).