Female Founders Forum Report 2018 - Press Coverage

Screen Shot 2018-03-23 at 16.59.22.png

On 15th March we launched our annual report on female entrepreneurship Mentoring Matters with the support of Barclays. Using the latest data from Beauhurst, the report highlights the equity funding gap in the UK. The key figures from the report include:

  • In 2017, the total amount of capital raised by entrepreneurs almost doubled. Yet the proportion invested in businesses with at least one female founder decreased from 14.9% in 2016, to 8.5% in 2017;

  • Between 2016 and 2017, the total amount of funding raised by male-led companies increased by 55%, compared to a decrease of 0.1% for those with a female founder;

  • Yet the highest amount raised by a company with at least one female founder almost tripled in 2017 compared with 2016; this was Monica Kalia, Co-founder of Neyber, which raised £143.5m;

  • The total number of recorded deals for companies with at least one female founder increased from 775 to 901 between 2016 and 2017.

The report also serves as a practical aid for entrepreneurs: we interviewed some of the UK’s most successful entrepreneurs for their top tips on leadership, innovation, mentoring and pitching. Please do share it among your networks!

One of our recommendations that appeared in both the 2017 and 2018 reports is that the media should promote female role models through their publications. On International Women’s Day The Telegraph launched a Women Mean Business campaign which aims to encourage and promote female entrepreneurship. As part of The Telegraph campaign, I’ve written about why female entrepreneurship is the last piece of the puzzle for female empowerment and Annabel, our Editor, has written about our report. We were also on the front page of The Telegraph on 15th March, with Olivia Rudgard reporting on how investment in women's businesses has fallen.

I appeared on the BBC Daily Politics show stating that female role models not quotas are the way to bridge the gap. Forbes reported twice on Mentoring Matters, writing that funding for female entrepreneurs in the UK has taken a tumble and about female only accelerators . Also Insider reported that start-up funding for women “remains stubbornly low”.

I wrote for CapX on why the equity funding gap is more worrying than unequal pay. I also authored an article for ConservativeHome on why the Government should champion female entrepreneurship. And Annabel wrote for the Yorkshire Post on why Britain will benefit with more female entrepreneurs.

Plenty has been written on last year’s report as well over the past few weeks with our data featuring in a Telegraph letter to the Government, which over 200 business leaders and MPs signed to urge Government to boost female entrepreneurship in Britain. Findings from Untapped Unicorns was also mentioned in a Telegraph interview with Dragon’s Den star Jenny Campbell. And another article around the funding gap.

After a day of plenty of press coverage we celebrated the launch of the report with an evening reception at Blooms London, with delicious food from female-led businesses Foraging Fox, ChickP and Well&Truly, as well as drinks Karma Kola and The Urban Cordial.

A big thank you to everyone involved in the project – particularly Barclays. We hope to see some of you at our future mentoring events which will focus around pitching and leadership. Please sign up for our e-bulletin for the latest information on these events.