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The Frankfurt Startup Fund: Wrapping up 2023

The mood barometer in the startup scene is back up: Enthusiasm and confidence have returned among founders and entrepreneurs, as indicated by the development of the Frankfurt Startup Fund this year.

The inquiries for external capital financing along with guarantees through the Fund – a successful project of the Frankfurt Economic Development Agency – in 2023 certainly convey this impression, as they significantly exceeded the figures from pre-COVID-19 pandemic times. Many business ideas had been conceived several years ago, but their realization was postponed due to unfavorable market entry opportunities.

Our 2023 in figures:

  • This year, we have supported entrepreneurs in 6 different industry sectors
  • 60 % of the guarantees were granted to female entrepreneurs
  • The default rate in 2023 was at 0 %
  • The return on guarantees issued in 2023 is approximately 7.6 % 
  • 100 % of the companies’ founding members are still active in the company today 

Wanted: Female founders

We are particularly proud to have an almost balanced ratio of women- and men-led startups in our portfolio. 60 percent of all supported companies in 2023 were founded by women, a significant stride toward gender diversity and equality in the startup and entrepreneurial landscape.

Still, it is important to highlight that more needs to be done in order to increase the proportion of female founders in startups. According to the German Startup Monitor 2023 , the total percentage of female founders in startups is currently only at 20.7 %, due to a variety of reasons.

On a positive note, numerous innovative concepts have been initiated in 2023 to increase the female founder ratio, especially in the Rhein-Main area. All of them share the same goal: to foster networking among existing and aspiring female founders and encourage them to use the networking opportunities at hand.

Strength through partnership

The success and effectiveness of the Frankfurt Startup Fund heavily rely on the presence of a strong network. Many initiatives in Frankfurt and the Rhein-Main metropolitan area contribute to raising awareness and sensitizing individuals to the importance of diversity in the startup scene. Be it through mentoring and knowledge exchange, network-building efforts, workshops, or collaborations with established companies – these initiatives play a vital role in fostering an inclusive entrepreneurial environment.

Let’s continue to work hard on this in 2024!

Andreas Küppers

Andreas Küppers implemented and heads the Frankfurt Start-up Fund
(Frankfurter Gründerfonds) at FS Impact Finance since 2010. Before joining FS Impact Finance, Andreas dedicated his career to the start-up sector as a consultant for eight years

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