High-flying women convene in London as part of drive to boost number of women angel investors

Author

UK Business Angels Association

20 September 2017

Over 120 high-flying women from around the country convened in London yesterday (19th September) at the first Women in Angel Investment Summit, arranged by UKBAA and hosted by Grant Thornton. The event was part of a major new campaign by UKBAA to increase the proportion of women angel investors in the UK from 14% to at least 30% over the next two years.

Debbie Wosskow, co-founder and chair of AllBright, who sold her business Love, Home, Swap for $53million over the summer, provided her views on the criticality of women investors backing female founders; and Dale Murray CBE told her personal account of her journey from successful tech entrepreneur to angel investor. They were joined on panels by Meganne Houghton-Berry, recently awarded UK Angel Investor of the Year 2017-18, and a number of women angel investors and founders who expressed their enthusiasm and passion for backing high-growth businesses.

Jenny Tooth OBE, CEO of UKBAA, said:

“Women own over 48% of the UK’s wealth and are achieving considerable success in their professional lives, with 23.6% of FTSE 100 directors being women. Yet so many of these women are missing out on the opportunity to use their financial capacity and business acumen to invest in the growth of early-stage businesses, especially those led by female entrepreneurs.

“At present the vast majority of angel investors are men: currently only 14% of the UK’s angel investors are women and this is clearly a cultural issue, not a lack of finance.

“UKBAA’s recent research, carried out with Angel Academe among nearly 200 high net worth women across the UK, has shown that there remains a serious lack of awareness and opportunity for women to learn about and engage in angel investing. 94% of women reported that their financial advisers and other sources of financial information fail to propose angel investment or backing small businesses as part of their investment portfolio.

“At UKBAA, we are on a mission to change this situation and increase the proportion of female angel investors in the UK to at least 30% in the next two years, ensuring that women are given the support, encouragement and skills to engage effectively in the exciting and rewarding world of angel investing.”

Sarah Abrahams, Head of Growth Finance at Grant Thornton, which hosted the summit, said:

“Angel investment is an important source of finance for the early-stage companies that we support, both in terms of providing financial backing, but also bringing key experience and mentoring for founders. We are hugely supportive of initiatives that encourage greater access to capital for growing businesses, but particularly we were delighted to host UKBAA’s Summit and support its mission to educate and encourage more women to invest.

“Access to a pool of investors with a wealth of experience and diverse mindsets can only be beneficial to ambitious founders, and there is a huge opportunity for women to bring their experience to unlock growth in these dynamic organisations.”

Notes to Editors

  1. About UKBAA: The UK Business Angels Association (UKBAA) is the national trade association representing angel and early-stage investment. UKBAA acts as the voice of the angel investment community and strives to build and connect the early-stage investment ecosystem, in support of the UK’s high-potential entrepreneurs.
  2. View photos here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ukbaa/sets/72157686890911234 
  3. More info on speakers is here: https://www.ukbaa.org.uk/events/women-angel-investing-summit-2017/
  4. Contact: jenny.redman@ukbaa.org.uk | +44 (0)20 7492 0494 for high-res imagery & more info

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