Vienna: Europe’s Female Entrepreneurship Hub

7 Reasons Why Vienna is the European Capital of Female Entrepreneurship

More and more we are seeing women enter the world of entrepreneurship. Slowly but surely, women all across the world are stepping up to close the gap between men and women in business communities. But let’s be honest, we aren’t exactly there yet and being a woman starting a new venture can be tough. Here at Female Founders we are looking to change that.

As a female entrepreneur there are absolutely steps you can take to set yourself up for success. One of them is locating yourself in a community that will support your ideas and provide you with the tools you need to reach your goals. Luckily for the driven female leaders out there, with the help of Female Founders and other actors in the local ecosystem, Vienna has become the European Capital of Female Entrepreneurship. Here are 7 reasons why:

1. Vienna is the European city with the most events for female entrepreneurs

Networking, business skills workshops, joining new communities, attending conferences and getting exposure are all crucial when starting a new venture and trying to get your ideas off the ground. Events happening in your local community are the best way to do all of these things. Vienna hosts the most entrepreneurial events put on specifically for women compared to any other European city. This means you can learn from experts, meet professionals in your field and discover new opportunities for businesses at events that are tailored towards supporting women and overcoming female specific challenges.

2. “The most liveable city in the world”

For 10 years in a row Vienna has been ranked the city with the highest quality of life by Mercer consulting and the most livable city by Economist Intelligence Unit’s Global Liveability Index. These rankings are based on multiple factors including the political social and economic climate, healthcare, education, public transportation, recreational features and environmental conditions. Living in a city that has everything you need to support your professional life: great, that city also being able to provide the highest quality of life in all aspects: even better.

3. Vienna is being built with women in mind

On top of being the most liveable city in the world, Vienna is also one of the best cities for women to live in. Here, the saying it’s a man’s world” doesn’t quite ring true (thank goodness!!). The city of Vienna uses a gender lens when planning new developments in order to create spaces and infrastructure catered to the needs of women. There have been more than 60 projects completed with this female centered approach, many of which created and carried out by women.

4. Location! Location! Location!

Vienna is located in the heart of Europe meaning you’re in close proximity to many other tech and start-up hubs in Europe. You’re just a short drive away from Prague, Budapest and Bratislava and quick (and cheap) flight away from Berlin and London. Vienna is also unique in that its location lends itself to both Western and Eastern European cultures, meaning it’s a great place to begin a business that will expand to all of Europe. The Central European location is also a huge plus for new businesses as it attracts a large amount of young talent from all over the continent.

5. Competitive advantage: Access to Capital

Forbes Magazine ranked Vienna the best city to start a new business. This is largely thanks to the access to capital that startups have here. The relatively high tax rate in Austria contribute greatly to financial support for new businesses. There is also the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) , and Austria Wirtschaftsservice GmbH (AWS) that provide non-repayable grants and subsidies. On a third level there are multiple private investing firms and angel investors in Vienna looking to support local innovation and entrepreneurship.

6. Female Founders

Founded in 2016, Female Founders has become the leading eco-system for entrepreneurial women. This is a community of women committed to lifting other women up through building connections, sharing skills and knowledge and empowering individuals to reach their goals. This is done through facilitating events, workshops and the spread of information that are catered towards the specific challenge’s women face in business and building on the qualities they need to be successful. With the Base F, Grow F, and Lead F programs there are three different options for female leaders with business mindsets at all different stages in their careers to get involved and become part of the community.

7. If you’re a tech-entrepreneur, Vienna is where you need to be

Vienna has a rep for its culture, art and music but over the past few years the city has been working towards a new title as a startup hub. Vienna was ranked number 1 on the Startup Cities Index developed by PeoplePerHour. Since 2008 there have been over 1300 new startups registered in Austria with about a 20% increase each year, many of which coming from Vienna. About 34% of these new ventures belong to the IT industry.

The rapid growth and success of new ventures in Vienna can be accredited to more than just the access to capital. The local ecosystem is extremely strong meaning it has everything a new business needs get up and running. Vienna is home to over 65 co-working office spaces, multiple startup incubators and accelerators and access to supportive services and media such as 2 Minuten 2 Millionen and i2b.