Though women make up just a fifth of business owners, we are seeing increasing numbers setting up companies. Though all-female teams receive just a penny in every pound of venture capital investment, Here and Now, the latest report from the Female Founders Forum, reveals that the share of funding to women-led firms has doubled in less than a decade. For some, the perception may be that male-led firms outperform, but our follow-on funding data show women are just as bankable an investment.
The UK needs more early-stage businesses achieving longer-term survival and scale. Supporting female entrepreneurs is not just about increasing the number of women-owned businesses: it is about raising their performance and growth potential. Not only will this lead to more established SMEs contributing more to economic growth, but they could also serve as inspiration to young girls.
As more and more women turn promising ideas into thriving businesses, they will make up a greater share of entrepreneurial role models, thereby encouraging more women into the pipeline – from schoolgirls considering STEM to founders scaling big. According to our survey, less than a third of women now think gender has been a hindrance to success. However, the figure for men is a negligible 1 per cent.
In partnership with Barclays, this year the Female Founders Forum focused on mentoring. This report is based on the insights of speed-mentoring events held across the country, which were attended by both experienced and novice female entrepreneurs. Also, following up the theme of last year's Untapped Unicorns report, we have updated updated the data on female founders' access to equity finance.
Studies have shown that access to finance remains a persistent barrier to female entrepreneurs. We partnered with Barclays on the Female Founders Forum – a group of some of the UK’s most successful female entrepreneurs, who’ve joined heads to come up with tangible, actionable recommendations for tackling the funding issue. The project’s first report, Untapped Unicorns, outlines how Britain can scale up female entrepreneurship.
Read it here.
The Female Founders Forum is a group of some of the UK's most successful female entrepreneurs. These briefing paper cover the four roundtables we hosted at Barclays, Octopus Investments, Parliament and the London Stock Exchange. The ideas from these roundtables formed the basis of the Untapped Unicorns report. The Female Founders Forum is run in partnership with Barclays.