Editor | 8 July 2022
Are female entrepreneurs getting the cold shoulder from investors

Are female entrepreneurs getting the cold shoulder from investors?


Figures show that record numbers of women are taking the leap and starting their own businesses. The proportion of companies started by young women is growing faster than any other age group.

Unfortunately, despite a growing number of female founders, female founders are still being snubbed by investors.

New figures show progress towards investment equality between male and female entrepreneurs, but there’s still a way to go.

The Investing in Women Code

The Investing in Women Code is a Government-backed scheme designed to get more money flowing to women-led companies.

So far, the scheme has more than 160 investors signed up, including four of the “big six” banks, the nation’s largest building society and more than 130 angel syndicates and venture capital firms.

Signing up to the code means all these investors are clear about how many businesses with female founders they support each year. And figures from this year’s report show encouraging progress for female entrepreneurs.

In the last year, the average amount of angel funding sought by all-female teams almost matched the amount asked for by men. This was a big jump from 2020, when female entrepreneurs asked for less than half as much as their male counterparts.

The percentage of funding going to all-women teams also rose, but female led businesses still consistently seek and receive less investment and lending than firms run by men.

CEO of Natwest and Chair of the Rose Review into Female Entrepreneurship Alison Rose said: “Above all, we know what makes a difference. Today’s report shows how important it is to ensure that female entrepreneurs can make “warm” approaches to investors.

“Cold approaches – applications for investment without referrals from parties known or trusted by investors – are much more likely to fail. We need to build the networking opportunities that allow women to create relationships that lead to funding.”

Some of Britain’s best female-led companies

  • Starling Bank - Anne Boden is the founder and CEO of challenger bank Starling, which uses an app to help users keep control of their finances.
  • Beckley Psytech - Lady Amanda Feilding is Director at Oxford-based Beckley Psytech. The company conducts research into psychedelic compounds aiming to turn them into new medicines.
  • OLIO - Saasha Celestial and Tessa Clarke founded food waste app OLIO, which aims to prevent surplus business and personal food going in the bin.
  • Smol- Paula Quazi is co-founder of Smol, a subscription-based eco-friendly cleaning product and detergent manufacturer.
  • Genius - Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne founded Genius - the nation’s leading manufacturer of gluten and dairy free bread and other products for people with dietary restrictions.

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