Finance · 22 March 2017

Lack of investment opportunities sees female startup founders lose out

Investment opportunities
Investment opportunities for female startup founders were low compared to backing for male-led enterprises
Female entrepreneurs could be at a disadvantage when looking to scale up their company, according to new research that suggesteda gender gap in investment opportunities in Britain.

According to the Untapped Unicorns study, by lobby group The Entrepreneurs Network, in 2016 male-led enterprises received 86 per cent of allventure capital (VC) startup investment, and£56 per cent of all backing from angel investors.

Crowdfunding platforms were also found to favour male-led startups over female entrepreneurs. In 2015, just eight per cent of fundraisers were women.

Finance remained the greatest business concern for female entrepreneurs, and a majorityclaimed that a lack of available mentors prevented them from accessing the right support to help growtheir company.

Despite the disparity in investment opportunities, female entrepreneurs could offer better value to their organisation. The research suggested that female entrepreneurs bring in 20 per cent more revenue with half the investment of male-run startups.

Annabel Denham, a director at The Entrepreneurs Network, said the findings revealed a frustrating reality? for female startup founders.

this is not just an economic discussion, though we know scale ups are vital to the UK economy we want to see smart, savvy businesswomen getting the same opportunities as their male counterparts, she said in a statement.

The report outlined a number of recommendations to tackle the lack of investment opportunities for female-run enterprises. It urged the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to publish growth data on UK startups, and encouraged government to work with the UK Business Angels Association to demonstrate the potential of female-founded companies.

Female entrepreneurs were also encouraged to invest in and provide mentoring for fellow founders, and challenged the media to cover more women-led enterprises and report on the success stories.


 
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ABOUT THE EXPERT

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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