Finance · 24 October 2016

Crowdfunding platform launched to support female entrepreneurship

female entrepreneurship
The AllBright Crowd investment platform will back female entrepreneurship through finance and support networks

Female entrepreneurship in Britain has received another boost, following the launch of the UK’s first women-led crowdfunding platform, with the purpose of turning Britain into “the best place in the world to be a female founder”.

The AllBright Crowd investment platform is part of the AllBright network that seeks to support female entrepreneurship in Britain through finance, but also business support through other resources such as the AllBright Academy.

Based in London, AllBright Crowd is supported by an advisory board of established business leaders including former director of Halifax Lord Chadlington and serial entrepreneur Sherry Coutu CBE, among others.

Commenting on the platform’s launch, co-founder Debbie Wosskow ­– founder of home exchange startup Love Home Swap – spoke of the “exceptional female business talent just waiting to be discovered and accelerated” in Britain, with a shortage of effective funding opportunities to meet the demand.

“I’ve been on the journey they are making and understand acutely the difference accessing the right funding and support can make,” she said in a statement.

Funding opportunities are set to be joined-up to networks of business expertise to support female entrepreneurship from startup and seed-stage level, as well as already established businesses.

Wosskow suggested that the platform stands on its own in the funding space: “Not only do we get to ‘give back’ investing in and sharing our knowledge with the next generation, but there is also a real financial opportunity for our investors to benefit from the untapped asset class of some of the UK’s best female entrepreneurs.”

Commenting on the launch of AllBright Crowd, Anna Jones – co-founder of the network and chief executive of Hearst Magazines – argued that the combination of finance with advice and support channels were key to the success of enterprise.

“Our combined experience and network means we have the ability to tackle every area a business needs to thrive from the start,” Jones said in a statement.

She added that the platform would represent “a win for existing business and investors”, but also for the UK as a whole, pointing to a £10.1bn boost to the economy “if every woman who wanted to run her own business started one”.

The platform could go a long way to close the so-called “gender funding gap” between male and female-run enterprise in the UK.

According to the Startup DNA report, male entrepreneurs were 86 per cent more likely to receive venture capital investment for businesses, while female entrepreneurship was 37 per cent more likely to be self-funded.

Revealed: The 13 best cities for women launching successful startups.

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Praseeda Nair is the editorial director of Business Advice, and its sister publication for growing businesses, Real Business. She's an impassioned advocate for women in leadership, and likes to profile business owners, advisors and experts in the field of entrepreneurship and management.

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