Get the latest Startup news and information

Please verify before subscribing.

How Britain can drive the growth of female entrepreneurship

More educational initiatives, better data collection and fairer media coverage are among the measures suggested in a new report on supporting female business owners…

Better promotion of gender diversity and initiatives to encourage school-age girls to become business owners have been recommended as key ways to help scale up female entrepreneurship in the UK in a report by The Entrepreneurs Network and Barclays-led Female Founders Forum.

The report, titled Untapped Unicorns, highlights the disparities between men and women when it comes to securing funding, with male entrepreneurs found to be 86% more likely to be VC funded and 56% more likely to gain angel investment.

The report also suggests that, in 2016, 86% of funding rounds involved businesses without a female founder, with 91% of investment directed into male-led enterprises.

Following these findings, the report has called for new measures to support and drive the growth of female entrepreneurship in the UK, including:

  • Government improvements to data collection to gather clearer evidence of female entrepreneurship, provide statistics on returns offered by female-founded businesses, and to better publicise patenting progress made by women.
  • New initiatives to introduce school-age girls to entrepreneurship.
  • VCs to incite change by better promoting gender diversity and hiring more female founders, which currently make up just 7% of partners in the world’s top 100 firms.
  • Accelerators, incubators and co-working spaces to continue to offer female founders access to networks and contacts, with the suggestion that these programmes utilise a blind application process.
  • Finally, the report recommends that the media cover more of the female-led businesses operating in male-dominated industries, and encourages women founders to invest in, and mentor, fellow female entrepreneurs.

Annabel Denham, programmes director at The Entrepreneurs Network, commented:

“This is not just an economic discussion, though we know scale-ups are vital to the UK economy: we want to see smart, savvy business women getting the same opportunities as their male counterparts.”


(will not be published)