Empowering Women in Blockchain: Stellar Presence at SheFi Summit Brussels


Gemma Dobbs

Publishing date

Working Towards Ecosystem Gender Diversity

At the Stellar Development Foundation (SDF), our mission is to create equitable access to the global financial system. This means providing products and services to populations that are unbanked, underbanked, and have historically not had access to safe and secure financial services. We know that we need diverse builders in order to build solutions for diverse communities. We also believe the people building on Stellar should reflect the users they are building for. According to the World Economic Forum, women make up 55% of the global unbanked population. Solutions for these over 1 billion unbanked women need to be tailored to understand the specific needs of women excluded from financial systems. Who better to build solutions for women than other women?

Unfortunately it’s not that simple, because the disparity does not end there. In 2023, companies founded by women received only 2% of distributed VC funding. As for Web3 specifically, women make up only 27% of the Web3 workforce, and only 13% of founding teams in Web3 have at least one woman.

SDF is positioned to help make changes to access through providing funding for projects building on the Stellar network. The Stellar Community Fund is an open application awards program for those building on Stellar. In 2023, the SCF awarded over 13 million USD worth of XLM, and it’s on track to beat that number this year. A strong pipeline of diverse applicants for SCF is needed in order to ensure that the SDF is funding projects with real-world applications that are bringing positive changes to industries and communities around the world. This year, the Ecosystem Growth team is committed to increasing the gender diversity of Stellar builders and Stellar Community Fund Awardees.

Enter SheFi

This commitment to gender diversity means, in part, partnering with organizations like SheFi and cultivating a presence at events with diverse audiences. SheFi’s mission is to “empower women through education, experimentation, and community.” They do this by running 8 week virtual courses designed for participants to level up their Web3 knowledge and hosting global events like the SheFi Summit in Brussels.

We connected with the SheFi team at ETHDenver 2024, where we were pleasantly surprised to see a booth fully staffed by women. Several women at SDF have joined 3000 other participants in SheFi’s educational courses. With SDF already planning a presence at ETHCC, it made perfect sense for us to join SheFi as a stage sponsor for their Brussels summit. We are thrilled to partner with an organization that was clearly created by, for, and with women at the front.

What to Look Forward to in Brussels

Stellar is the blockchain for the real world, and real-world use cases on Stellar can directly impact unbanked folks around the world. Anke Liu, Senior Manager on the Ecosystem Growth team is giving a keynote at the SheFi summit titled “Are there Real-World Use Cases for Blockchain?” (Spoiler alert, there are). Anke will highlight developers and teams who are building products with real-world impact, with a focus on women-founded and driven teams.

SDF is also bringing an activation built around an exciting new Stellar capability - passkeys! The Stellar x SheFi activation will let users test out what it’s like to be able to sign transactions using just their face or their fingerprint - no more remembering secret keys or 12-word phrases. We hope to connect with a diverse audience who are interested in getting involved in the Stellar ecosystem as builders and community members - oh, and we’ll have cool swag. If you’ll be in Brussels early and are looking for something to do before the official festivities start, please come see us at the SheFi Summit on July 7th from 11am-7pm.