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Sometimes You Have To Say No To Protect Your Values

Gaelle Haag, Founder & CEO of StarTalers

A woman’s career is a permanent choice, the career of Gaëlle Haag, co-founder of StarTalers, is a perfect illustration. As a mother of two children and a “committed” entrepreneur, she approaches 2021 without anxiety despite the health uncertainties, because being a digital entrepreneur means being agile and relying on technology that simplifies daily life to stay the course.

Photo: For StarTalers, 2020 will have been a difficult year, but Gaëlle says she overcame “better than others at a glance” / Credits © Kaori Anne Jolliffe / Silicon Luxembourg

Women’s free referee

StarTalers was created in 2018 to enable women to invest in financial products that are ethically responsible or close to their concerns. They are students, married, single, retired, mothers, employees, entrepreneurs or divorced.

Women who choose StarTalers want to officially take in hand what they unofficially manage 90% at home: money. They certainly want to invest for their retirement, their children’s studies, but also contribute to reduce social and educational inequalities in the world and fight against global warming.

After a first life in the banking sector and two children, Gaëlle Haag has chosen to help these women overcome their fears or prejudices about the financial sector and, since 2020, has also been offering numerous information sessions in public (and in the form of webinars). “The statistics show an increase in retail investors since March 2020. This is due to the fact that with containment, the free time factor has encouraged interest in investments. The webinars that we have organized have also confirmed this trend since we have registered more than 600 registrants in the first 3 months of confinement,” she explains.

Has the taboo on female investment finally been lifted? “Some women think they need 10 information sessions before they start, whereas it is more concrete to play the game, to understand the speculative mechanism when you have suffered your first decline in value! »

“Fortunately, being a digital entrepreneur makes everyday life easier because everything is simpler when everything is dematerialized, sharing and collaboration are a standard and create flexibility.”

The entrepreneur-cheater syndrome

Fear, the idea of feeling illegitimate is a recurrent feeling among women since the sector is largely marked out by their male counterparts. As an entrepreneur and mother, Gaëlle Haag is no exception.

“There is the minority aspect, the fact that you have to prove yourself because you don’t check the usual box. There is a form of unconscious selection in the eyes of our male interlocutors which questions our credibility as an entrepreneur. They think they have to protect us, imagine us not very ambitious… For my part, I am lucky that private logistics works a lot thanks to my husband”. Leaving the office at 2pm to help the last one do her homework? Participate in a selection of pitches over 3 days while there is the school show? All active women have this kind of dilemma… How many men? Gaëlle Haag observes that the models who best live this duality are women who have played their role as mothers after having passed a delicate stage in their activity.

“You can’t please everyone, you have to know how to say no to a potential partner to protect your values. I made choices that I assume, even if they can be guilt-ridden.”

Digital Entrepreneur, a force against the Covid blues?

For StarTalers, 2020 will have been a difficult year, but Gaëlle says she overcame “better than others at a glance”. A collateral effect of the confinement is the distance of support that is created with the second circle: that of friends and family in the broadest sense.

“Being an entrepreneur is already supporting a certain loneliness, living with your company day and night…so during the Covid period, we would sometimes like to be able to share more things”.

“Fortunately, being a digital entrepreneur makes everyday life easier because everything is simpler when everything is dematerialized, sharing and collaboration are a standard and create flexibility. The sunny days have a brightening effect on viruses as well as on the morale of entrepreneurs: in 2020, StarTalers expected to obtain CSSF approval to sell financial products to a mature community. It will be for the middle of the year, after a second fundraising round that should materialize by the summer. The positive investment at StarTalers is to be understood literally and figuratively.


This article was first published in Silicon Luxembourg magazine. Read our full Digital Entrepreneurship edition.

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