Changing perspective

To get to know each other better, KvinnoKapital reaches out to the members who are moving jobs and asks them a few questions to inspire the rest of us!

Mareauline Böhm holds a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) from Anglia Ruskin University and a Master of Laws (LL.M) from the University of Edinburgh. Mareauline has worked in London, Frankfurt, Köln and Edinburgh in different roles, before moving to Stockholm in 2017. Earlier this year, she began a new role as a Fund Manager at BLING.

In this interview, Mareauline shares about her new job, her best memory from her previous job, and some valuable tips that have helped her in her career.

“I think the power to instigate change lies within each of us. We can contribute by mentoring, advocating for companies, introductions to our networks, investors, and opportunities.”

Can you tell us about your new job? What is the one thing that decided you to take it (apart from the money)?

The decision to join Bling Capital, a Stockholm based venture capital firm committed to diversity, resonates strongly with my values. Bling was set up by Deqa Abukar and Adnan Yousuf and operates on a dual front, comprising a non-profit organisation, and Bling Capital, a venture capital fund, dedicated to finance underrepresented founders. This unique structure immediately caught my attention, aligning with my passion for contributing to meaningful societal impact.

VC funding for female and minority founders is alarmingly low, with less than one percent of capital from Sweden’s largest venture capital firms invested in startups from underserved communities. This lack of financial support hinders their ability to scale, hire, and sustain their businesses.

We all know that studies highlight the benefits of diverse teams, which tend to perform better, generate more revenue, and create greater social impact. While I hesitate to criticise the VC world too harshly, it’s crucial for change to occur more rapidly. I just see that the challenges persist and maintaining the status quo won’t make them disappear.

Closing the diversity gap in entrepreneurship is not just a matter of social equity; it could also contribute up to $5 trillion to the global GDP by 2025, according to McKinsey. Diversity on the investment evaluation and capital allocation level, is closely linked to this. At Bling Capital we are a diverse Team consisting of Deqa Abukar, Rami Almudafar and me, as well as our board and investment committee. I think that diversity is a crucial factor in who we are and, in our decision making, coming together with all our differences. I find so much joy in working in the team and with the network Deqa and Adnan have gathered around them.

Overall, I think the power to instigate change lies within each of us. We can contribute by mentoring, advocating for companies, introductions to our networks, investors, and opportunities. Kvinnokapital is a good example of a forum that enables networking and exchange of best practices around these issues.

What is your best memory form the job you are just leaving? 

I was working for a company based in Berlin, Germany. Reflecting on my time and especially 2023, what resonates with me is the resilience and dedication displayed by my team, while navigating through unprecedented times in Germany.

Germany experienced a 0.3% contraction in its economy in 2023 and I witnessed firsthand the impact on investor sentiment. As someone deeply immersed in deal closures, the past year demanded hard work and perseverance. The economic challenges reverberated across businesses and households, leading to increased strain and reduced relief measures. Public spending, a crucial component of economic stability, faced cutbacks. The German government, constrained by fiscal limitations, was compelled to trim spending following a constitutional court ruling in November that prevented the reallocation of €60 billion in unused COVID-era loans.

One notable initiative affected by these fiscal adjustments was the INVEST-Zuschuss, a program supporting investors in innovative start-ups. Budget cuts impacted this program, highlighting the interconnectedness of economic policies and the innovation ecosystem.

Despite these challenges, I find myself leaving this role with a sense of optimism for the future. The adversity faced has not only tested our resilience but also serves as a catalyst for growth and innovation in the long term. We are living in interesting times, marked by economic shifts and recalibrations, and I am so curious to see this new era of creativity and transformation. I believe that the setbacks experienced today will fuel a kick start to growth, paving the way for more innovation and sustainable economic development in the years to come.

As I transition to my new role as a fund manager at Bling Capital, I carry these valuable experiences forward, driven by the belief that challenges are catalysts for positive change and progress.

Can you share a tip or a life hack that has helped you in your career? What was the outcome? 

I like to read a lot of biographies and have a genuine interest in people, things that really helped me:

1. Dare to take responsibility.
2. Take action.
3. Focus on your strengths, addressing weaknesses is essential, but it shouldn’t overshadow your strengths.

 

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