This is what you need to know about Female Entrepreneurship in the Netherlands | SHE LEADS Dashboard 2023

31 January 2023

Close your eyes and imagine a successful entrepreneur. Who do you see? When you hear the word “founder”, does the conventional fancy suit-clad man come to mind? Then you should probably read the SHE LEADS Dashboard 2023.

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Entrepreneurship in the Netherlands is more diverse than you think. However, the divide between male and female founders is still far from being closed with plenty of untapped entrepreneurial potential.

As of today, in the Netherlands, female entrepreneurs are still a minority and can be considered ‘’unconventional’’ especially when looking at the Dutch landscape for high-growth firms. This does not mean it will always stay like this though: An entrepreneurial ecosystem can be seen as an organism embedded in a cultural and institutional context, which is constantly under evolution. If its surroundings change to a more inclusive climate, the whole ecosystem will adapt accordingly.

The SHE LEADS Dashboard 2023 dives into the key trends and themes around female entrepreneurship and puts the spotlight on 50 inspiring entrepreneurial role models leading in Social Impact, Health & Wellbeing, Tech, Scaling Up and Serial Entrepreneurship.

Based on 2022 figures from Dealroom’s database, the dashboard highlights that:

  • 10% of companies headquartered in the Netherlands have a female (co-)founder;
  • Female entrepreneurs are more impact-oriented: companies with a female founder tackle more SDGs than male-founded companies;
  • Female entrepreneurs receive a fraction (less than 3%) of male entrepreneurs’ Venture Capital;
  • Most female entrepreneurs (61%) bootstrap their businesses rather than rely on external funding for growth;
  • Female (co)-founded companies concentrate in the Randstad: majority of female (co)-founded companies are based in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht and The Hague.

Featuring insights from FEM-START’s Marian Spier & Simone van Bijstervelt into the funding ecosystem, Euclid Network’s (Tiffany Bennett, Katharina Scharpe, Toby Gazeley & Wieteke Dupain) European Social Enterprise Monitor and research by professors from Erasmus School of Economics (dr. Fabrizio Core) and Rotterdam School of Management (dr. René Bakker and dr. Ingrid Verheul), the facts and figures in the dashboard are complemented by academic and industry experts’ take on the topic of female entrepreneurship.

SHE LEADS is an initiative that encourages female entrepreneurship and leadership by uncovering the latest research insights around the topic. It also promotes female representation in entrepreneurship education at Erasmus University Rotterdam and connects like-minded changemakers through inspiring events in collaboration with partners in the wider ecosystem. This project is supported by the Ondernemende Vrouwen Fonds and Jong Ondernemschap Fonds of Erasmus Trustfonds.

For more information, see

For questions about the research: Katty Hsu (Senior Researcher) via
For further Press Enquires: Kat Moy (Design & Marketing Coordinator) via

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