An examination of the requests submitted by women for grants from the various Innovation Authority incentive programs reveals that the ratio of women submitting such requests is similar to their ratio in the general entrepreneurial field in Israel. For example, in 2020- 2021, requests submitted by women comprised 15% of all grant requests submitted to the Ideation (“Tnufa”) Program – a dedicated program for early-stage startups that need to make the transition from idea to ‘Proof of Concept’ (POC). In the incentive programs for startups in more advanced stages, the ratio of requests submitted by women is even lower and reflects a trend similar to that in funding raised by women in more advanced funding stages (also presented in this report). The ratio of female entrepreneurs who apply for a R&D grant aimed at encouraging innovation and developing new technologies in seed stage companies stands at 10% of all grants, while for the grant for financing application of technologies (the Pilots Program), this figure stands at 11% of total requests submitted.
Furthermore, our examination reveals a similar ratio of requests submitted by men and women that are approved and receive Authority support. In other words, no disparity can be identified in the quality of the requests for support considered by the Innovation Authority. In the Ideation (“Tnufa”) Program, the ratio of requests approved out of total requests submitted was 26% for both women and men. In the other programs examined there were small disparities in request approvals: in grants for startups at the R&D stage, 44.5% of the requests submitted by women entrepreneurs were approved compared to 49.3% of the requests submitted by men, and in the Pilots Program for application of technologies, 19% of the requests submitted by women entrepreneurs were approved compared to 21% of requests submitted by men.
In 2019, the Israel Innovation Authority began offering a benefit designated specifically for women entrepreneurs, as part of the R&D Fund (that constitutes the Authority’s primary investment tool and budget activity). This benefit aimed at assisting women raise funding, encouraging women entrepreneurs to submit requests for grants, and help them raise supplementary funding from additional entities. According to the terms of this benefit, women entrepreneurs in R&D stages will be eligible for support of 70%-75% of the approved development budget, compared to 30%-50% for male entrepreneurs who receive the grant. Moreover, the Authority offers women preferential conditions in other areas such as the Support for Seed Companies Program in which women entrepreneurs can receive a grant of up to 50% of the submitted budget compared to 40% for male entrepreneurs, and in the Authority’s various training programs where a higher financial incentive is awarded for placing women.