Our first FFF Roundtable addressed initial capital – from bank lending to angel investing and alternative finance. We discussed the ways in which banks are finding new and innovative ways to help founders access capital, the need for more women angel investors, and the impact of crowdfunding (which has helped boost the number of female UK angels from around 3 per cent to 14 per cent).
The second Roundtable will see us starting to climb the funding ladder – and address why female entrepreneurs are much less likely to use private equity or venture capital. Some women might potentially be more reluctant to hand chunks of their business over to investors, but this is also a supply-side issue. While the UK private equity industry is going from strength-to-strength (growing 3.6 per cent annually), male entrepreneurs are 86 per cent more likely to receive VC funding.
Why is VC investment displaying a gender bias? Why are so few female entrepreneurs approaching these firms? We will hear first hand from Forum members on their experiences of raising seed and Series A finance to scale their businesses, and uncover the challenges that remain.
Baroness (Susan) Kramer, Liberal Democrat Economic Spokesperson, former entrepreneur and FFF member will be giving introductory remarks at the event.
Susan began her career in finance, rising to become a VP of Citibank in Chicago. After returning to the UK, Susan and her husband set up a number of partnerships including Future Water International and Infrastructure Capital Partners.
In 2005, Susan was elected MP for her constituency of Richmond Park. During her time in the Commons she was in turn a member of the Treasury Select Committee and Liberal Democrat spokesperson for International Development, Trade & Industry and Transport.
The Female Founders Forum is sponsored by Barclays. Barclays has a 325-year history of backing pioneers in business and beyond, as well as helping provide solutions to the challenges facing business and society across the world. That’s why the bank has been delighted to help convene some of the country’s leading female entrepreneurs from business, media and politics, to discuss the challenges and solutions to starting and scaling up a business.
The bank’s Head of SME and Corporate Lending, Rebecca McNeil, will be chairing the event.
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