Women now represent one in seven angel investors

Nation of Angels report says angel numbers are "swelling" with more women and younger individuals choosing to invest in businesses than ever before

The profile of Britain’s angel investors is changing with more women and younger individuals choosing to invest in businesses and entrepreneurs; as reported in new research commissioned by the UK Business Angels Association (UKBAA) and the Centre for Entrepreneurs (CFE) think tank.

Said to be the largest ever study of the behaviour and impact of UK angel investors with involvement from over 8,000 angels, the Nation of Angels report found that there is a shift in the number of female angel investors with one in seven angel investors female; double the rate of 2008.

Britain’s angel investors are also getting younger with three quarters of the angels surveyed aged under 55 with 44% aged under 45 and 16% under 35. This falling age of angel investors is more pronounced in London and the South East – 46% of angels are aged under 45 compared with 37% across the rest of the UK.

More over, UK angels were found to be making more investments than ever before with an average of five deals per investor; double the number reported in 2009, and angels appear to be more confident in the growth potential of their portfolios – 45% of respondents said their investee businesses are showing faster growth and higher expected rates of return than was originally found in earlier studies.

One of the most popular sectors for angel investments was social impact with one in four angels surveyed having invested in a social venture.

The rise in angel investment activity is likely due to the growth in the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) and the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) as as 80% of investments in angel portfolios’s were made under EIS or SEIS.

UK Business Angels Association chief executive, Jenny Tooth, said of the report:

“We hope that these findings, which show the impact of angel investment, will reinforce the need for government to give ongoing support to this growing nation of angels to enable them to continue to fulfill their important contribution to the UK economy.”

Centre for Entrepreneurs chairman and serial angel investor, Luke Johnson, continued:

“The results of this study demonstrate the important role that angel investing is playing in the economy, not only bringing risk capital, business experience and skills to support the growth of small businesses, but also through investing to create social impact. ”

The report is also said to reflect the need for the venture capital sector to recognise the role that angels now have, according to the head of the British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association Tim Hames:

“There are important lessons to be learn here for all of those who work with angels. […] It sets out a very different landscape for angel investment than was true a decade ago and offers a clear sense of direction for what the angel arena will like a decade hence. Its fundamental message is change.”

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