UK female founders are being ignored by male investors, report finds

Just 2.19% of all global venture money went to female founders in 2016 – strongly suggesting a bias within the industry exists

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A significant number of female entrepreneurs in the UK believe that male investors ignore them when they start pitching their business plan, according to new statistics released by AllBright. (Here are some venture capital firms exclusively for women, to tip the balance).

The survey of 520 female-led start-ups and aspiring business owners has revealed that 22% feel they hadn’t been heard when speaking to investors – significantly reducing their chances of raising finance.

Just 2.19% of all global venture money went to female founders in 2016 – strongly suggesting a bias within the industry exists.

Another key finding from the survey showcased how women are most confident when they meet and network with like-minded people.

Indeed, 65% of those surveyed said they feel more confident promoting their business among other women – suggesting female business owners should consider hosting their own networking groups to support such developments.

An emphasis on collaboration is high among female-led companies, with 40% of respondents saying they had a business partner – with a 50/50 split with regards gender.

Launched last October, AllBright is an online platform for female business owners and entrepreneurs. Seeking to “nurture and back the most outstanding female-led companies in the UK”, the site includes a female-focused crowdfunding platform called AllBright Crowd, an angel investor network called the AllBright Angel Network, and the AllBright Academy – which provides advice and resources for female-led start-ups.

Founded by Debbie Wosskow and Anna Jones, the duo made their money and fame on the back of their success with Love Home Swap and Hearst respectfully – and recently launched their first joint venture together, an online fashion marketplace called ShareStyle.

Early next month, AllBright will be hosting the FoundHER festival in Manchester – which will feature a range of high profile speakers from the UK start-up scene.

For a chance to win free tickets to the FoundHER festival, all you need to do is tweet is your great business idea @startupstowers and include the hashtag #FoundHER.

Wosskow said:

“In the progressive, fast-paced world of entrepreneurship, you may be under the assumption that all things are equal when it comes to women securing investment for them to start and grow their businesses.

“But when only 2.19% of global venture capital funding in a year goes to women, it is clear there is a problem with the report revealing that a lack of connection with male investors is one of the largest barriers to women raising funds – the report reveals the shocking stat that 22% of female founders feel they haven’t been heard when they have spoken to male investors.”

Jones said:

“The results of this research definitely rang true for me. Meeting Debbie, a like-minded individual, was a pivotal point in my career.

“Often speaking about issues facing women on the London speaking circuit, one of a small number of female CEOs, we found we had so much in common and realised that if we worked together we could move more quickly to deliver on our vision for AllBright, to develop a truly innovative and effective ecosystem for female founders.”

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