Diversity Accelerator

Diversity does not create harmony, but requires energy. It is much easier to make decisions in a homogeneous group in which everyone agrees anyway. But creating more diversity in companies is not only a matter of fairness and equal opportunity, it also pays off for companies economically. The more diverse a company is, the more likely it is to be profitable – this was the conclusion of the McKinsey study „Diversity wins“ in 2020.

However, the fact that certain groups have difficulties successfully starting a business, contrasts with the potential that a more diverse startup landscape offers for the economy. Germany could see over 41,000 new startups by 2030, fostering growth and innovation. This will only be possible, if more women, non-academics, older people, and people with a migration background are encouraged to become entrepreneurs.

In order to accelerate the development towards a more diverse start-up landscape, McKinsey and Handelsblatt have launched the Diversity Accelerator Award. The award is intended to help create the necessary awareness for trailblazers who serve as role models for a more diverse corporate organization and can thus influence decision-makers.


• People, organizations or companies that are personally or with their business model committed to a more diverse working world and start-up culture, or
• Have anchored diversity as an integral part of the corporate culture

The Diversity Award takes into account all seven diversity dimensions: Age, ethnicity and nationality, gender and gender identity, physical and mental abilities, religion, sexual orientation and social origin.

The Diversity Accelerator Award is the natural evolution of the Female Founder Award, which was launched in 2019 by Handelsblatt and McKinsey. The aim of the latter was to provide a stage for successful female founders so that, in the long term, more women would take the step of founding a company. The Diversity Award now takes a look at all diversity dimensions in order to make the reality of different groups disadvantaged in founding visible and to change existing mechanisms.

Nomination and selection process


Inititators nominate possible award winners.


The selection committee chooses the top 3 from the nominations.


Finalists present themselves at the jury meeting in September. Jury members select the winner of the Diversity Accelerator Award 2023.

Award Ceremony

Awarding of the prize winner at The Spark award ceremony on November 23 in Berlin.