Margareta Neld, Monica Hedberg and Ann-Sofie Olsson noted a lack of female Business Angels in Sweden and decided to change that. In 2015, they created Asynjor Invest to encourage women to take control of their investments. Because money is power.
Asynjor Invest was founded in Visby, Gotland, Sweden’s largest island, with the purpose of creating better conditions for women to use and develop their capital and at the same time increase equality in companies. The name comes from Norse Mythology where the Asynjur (Asynjor in Swedish) is a collective name for the female Goddesses.
Asynjor Invest has two business areas. One is a certification course in investment knowledge and how to invest in unlisted companies. The second is an investment platform where the Asynjur in the network contribute with capital, experience and expertise in early growth companies. Today, Asynjor Invest is represented in all parts of Sweden with more than 160 certified Business Goddesses.
“We are more than a hundred Asynjur who contribute with capital, skills and networks to the startup scene. Those numbers make a difference”, co-founder Margareta Neld said.
Sustainability is important to the Swedish Business Goddesses. When investing, they do not only look at the financial return on their money. It is equally important that the businesses they invest in are run in a long-term sustainable way. Margareta Neld explains:
“We want to focus on businesses that value diversity and healthy business cultures. It’s not so much about the companies’ type of products or services, but rather how they want to develop their customer-, employee- and owner relations, and what role they want to play in society.”
They are looking for leadership characterized by ethics, humanity and good judgment in combination with entrepreneurship.
Asynjor Invest joined The Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce in San Francisco & Silicon Valley as a Small Business Partner in late March. The women in the network have long and varied experiences of running businesses, but according to Margareta Neld, there is always more to learn. By looking beyond Sweden’s borders, they can learn more from other female investors, find out how they act and think. Last winter, some of the Asynjur made an inspiring trip to Silicon Valley to meet with American Business Angels. Luckily, inspiration and knowledge-sharing work both ways.
“As part of the SACC network, we can contribute with our experience and knowledge of being Business Angels in Sweden, where there are many good startups with international potential.”
If there is an interest in the SACC network to visit Sweden and learn more about the Swedish Business Goddesses, Margareta Neld promised that we are more than welcome!