Inspiring UK female start-up founders winning over investors

Access to capital is one of the biggest challenges facing women in business. We’re showcasing female entrepreneurs who have raised funding so you, like them, can challenge the status quo

“It certainly seems it is men who continue to triumph when it comes to securing traditional financing.”

This is a quote from Estelle Lloyd, one of the fantastic female entrepreneurs you’ll meet in this series who, despite having raised over £3.5m for her start-up, is all too aware of the investment biases surrounding women in business.

And Lloyd is not alone in acknowledging that there is a problem.

The fact is there is a huge disparity in the ability for female entrepreneurs to secure investment, and attract investors, when compared to their male counterparts.

A survey published this week by AllBright found that 22% of female founders are not being heard by male investors, while just 2.19% of all global venture money went to female-led businesses in 2016.

Recent research by 99designs, Diversity VC and Harvard Business Review has all come to the same conclusion; there is a major funding gap for women in business.

So, how can we begin to plug this funding gap?

It’s easy to discuss a problem but, at Startups.co.uk, we want to act to promote change and further champion female entrepreneurs.

While some of you reading this may believe the problem lies with investors and their attitudes towards female founders (which is true to an extent), there are ways to encourage more women to seek out funding and to prove that there are viable routes to raising investment.

This is why we’ve created the Inspiring UK female start-up founders winning over investors series.

We want to highlight the inspirational women running early-stage UK businesses who have successfully broken through these funding barriers to secure investment*.

Collectively, these female entrepreneurs – many of whom are solo founders – have raised over £30m for their start-up businesses and some are now in the process of raising additional funding.

We’ve brought their success stories together to provide inspiration to show you that, in the words of one of our profiled entrepreneurs Gemma Young, you “don’t have to go through this process alone”. There are many trailblazing women who have made, and continue to make, their voices heard among investors.

We also hope this feature will encourage more female founders to share their stories: In the AllBright survey it was highlighted that the majority of UK female entrepreneurs feel more confident promoting their business among other women.

Let these female entrepreneurs inspire you and, to quote Lloyd once more, “follow their lead, challenge the status quo and pursue the fields you’re passionate about! If your fields aren’t the norm yet – we need you even more!”

Click the next button to view our round-up of inspirational female entrepreneurs…

Are you a female founder and want to share your story in this series? Get in touch in the comment box below or via Twitter @startupstowers and we may feature you!

* The female founders featured in this series launched businesses on or after January 1 2013 and have raised £500,000 or more in external investment.

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