Women in The FoodTech 500: Industry Insights featured our co-founder Mex Ibrahim

The FoodTech 500, powered by Forward Fooding,  is the world’s first definitive list of the global entrepreneurial talent at the intersection between food, technology and sustainability. It is also dedicated to celebrating diversity and inclusivity. Forward Fooding recently revealed that out of the 500 finalists, 138 have been founded by women. Their recent feature on The FoodTech 500 threw the spotlight on these remarkable founders and gained insights from Women in the Food Industry co-founder – Mex Ibrahim. Discover what she said and why she believes diversity is vital for the future of agrifoodtech.

Women in Food Tech Forward Fooding Feature

Women in FoodTech

Forward Fooding set the scene, “In recent years, there has been a growing focus on highlighting women in the food industry. A quick web search reveals numerous articles celebrating top female entrepreneurs like this article published by EU-Startups, titled Top 60 European Women transforming the Agrifood Sector”.  This newfound emphasis on women in the food industry extends to top F&B companies like Unilever, Danone, and Nestle that have made it a top priority to reach the UN’s Fifth SDG goal of gender parity by 2030. ”

Despite various initiatives and objectives, there is a need to ensure that companies are truly fostering substantive change in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). As Mex stresses, “It is easy for organisations in this space to say that they follow all laws on maternity and paternity leave, equal pay and do not discriminate in employment ads. However, DEI usually requires a cultural change and one that should be embedded and embraced into the whole DNA of the company, from recruitment, education and training right through to retention, promotion and boardroom decisions.”

Access to VC Funding

Forward Fooding also acknowledged that “Female entrepreneurs face a particularly daunting challenge in the food industry, as evidenced by a recent report from Emerging Europe. According to the article, in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), women received only 1% of the capital deployed to entrepreneur in the region. In contrast, 5% of funding went to mixed-sex founder teams, while a staggering 94% was allocated to all-male teams. This funding disparity is especially concerning given that women account for 2.2 million entrepreneurs in the CEE region, with 20% of them employing staff.

“The diagram above shows the complex interplay of factors that shape female-led firms’ access to VC funding: structural business differences, VS investor biases, and macroeconomic factors.”

You can read the full feature on Women in Food Tech and Industry Insights from Mecca Ibrahim and meet some of the women shaping the future of foodtech here.

FoodTech 500

About Forward Fooding

Forward Fooding is the world’s first collaborative platform for the food & beverage industry fostering innovation via FoodTech Data Intelligence and corporate-startup collaboration. Headquartered in London with satellite offices in Barcelona and Rome, they have built the largest FoodTech database in the world and have been fostering a global network of AgriFoodTech entrepreneurs since 2015. To learn more visit: forwardfooding.com

You may also be interested in the following: Winners of the BBC Food and Farming Awards 2023Tech for Good: Green Solutions Transforming FoodTechDiscover what happened at our Sustainable Food Futures Event and Meet Michelin Green Star Chef Chantelle Nicholson.

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