October 31st | Ritz Plenary A

The diversity dividend: The value of investing in women around the world

​​Why now? Female founders received only 2.2% of venture capital funding in 2018. That’s less investment overall than many companies receive on their own. Overlooking female-led businesses isn’t just inequitable — it’s a missed business opportunity. Research shows that startups run by women outperform those run by men and Boston Consulting Group research showed recently that for every dollar of investment raised, female-led startups generated 78 cents in revenue compared to the 31 cents from male founders. Urgent questions? How can private investors and government leaders help close this investment gap — what programs, policies much be put in place? Key takeaways? This candid conversation explores how to examine investment opportunities through a gender lens and the long-term business value of supporting women led startups and companies.

Moderator: Fatima Daoui, Al Arabiya News Channel ​​​

  • Deema Al Yehia, Digital Transformation Advisor and Innovation Catalyst, KSA

  • Heather Henyon, Foundi​​ng Partner, Mind​shift Capital, United States

  • Shelly Zalis, CEO, The Female Quotient, United States