In Israel, only 8 percent of startups are led by women. And while that’s not very different from the rest of the world, it does imply that Startup Nation isn’t actually that nationwide.
In response, the Israel Innovation Authority, the government body in charge of supporting research and development in Israel, will launch a designated incentive program for female-led startup initiatives.
The goal of the grant program is to minimize the gender gap in Israel’s high-tech ecosystem by helping women entrepreneurs meet basic challenges such as funding and networking with potential investors.
According to the IIA, the program seeks to incorporate women in the high-tech industry and increase their contribution to the growth and prosperity of the economy in general and the high-tech industry in particular.
In 2017-2018, the percentage of applications submitted by female entrepreneurs to the IIA’s Early Stage Incentive Program was only about 10% of total applications. With the new initiative, the IIA hopes to double the number of women it supports within two years.
Under the incentive program, women-led startups will be eligible for research and development grants of up to 75% of the company’s R&D funding in the first year of the program, and 70% of funding in the second year, with a budget cap of up to ₪2.5 million in the first year and ₪4.5 million in the second year.
In addition, the IIA plans on opening a dedicated support program for women to enable access to all the support tools available through the organization.
[Photo: Israel / YouTube ]