Why aren’t more women investing and supporting UK early stage businesses?

Author

UK Business Angels Association

23 March 2018

As a part of UKBAA’s initiative to identify the opportunities for Women Angels in the UK, we are eager to feature women within our ecosystem that are actively working towards the same goal of diversifying the investment landscape. Jordan Dargue Head of Investor Relations at GrowthFunders is passionate about three areas of investment: females, angels and the north, and seeks to continually create dialogue around what can be done to increase activity and inclusion in all three areas.

Women in investing is a particularly hot topic not only for the north, but across the UK and Europe. Proportionately, the female to male ratio of investors is imbalanced when it comes to women playing a key role in backing entrepreneurs, which begs the question, why are more women leaders not stepping up to the plate and supporting innovative businesses?

Jordan has raised this question among others in her series of blogs published via GrowthFunders. This week Jordan is focusing on the key areas that need improvement and the motivations for women to Angel invest.

“Like many sectors, areas of financial services and technology-based industries have traditionally been male-dominated. Particularly when looking at the more specific venture capital and investment landscapes, both female investors and female entrepreneurs are under-represented and it’s widely felt that both present and future generations believe – consciously or subconsciously – that investment is just for men.

Almost two million investment-minded women want to invest, but are so often put off by the underlying inequality that exists in this area. A key finding from the recent report commissioned by EISA is that on average, women in the UK have in the region of £24,800 in investable assets and savings beyond that of property and pensions, translating to £375bn nationally.

Yet research has traditionally shown women aren’t investing money anywhere. They are holding funds in cash (and sometimes property), but very few are investing in stocks and shares – despite women being responsible for owning over 45% of the UK’s wealth, only 14% of angel investors in the UK are women. But when a female VC backs a female-led startup, it’s 21% more likely to succeed.”

Jordan continues to explore and emphasise the need to diversify the current community of Angels, and identifies that a shift needs to occur in the mindset of potential women investors. We are seeing more and more women operating at high leadership roles within their respective professions and with that, they are equipped with a substantial knowledge-base and array of expertise that many new businesses would greatly benefit from. Jordan notes that we need to shine light on the positive and collaborative approaches to business that so many women evoke. By combining the styles of male and female leadership, we could very well see an incredible future for UK innovators – we just need to take the step towards re-establishing current ideologies held in the investment community.

“Not only are women becoming more economically significant and controlling an even greater percentage of the world’s wealth, but they are also becoming increasingly concerned about the social and environmental impact of their investments. Increasing numbers of professional women want to make investment decisions that positively influence the world we live in; making impact driven investment choices. They do this by investing money into companies and industries benefiting not only themselves with returns, but benefiting a wider group by creating positive social and environmental change.”

We, like Jordan, want to continue to provide a platform for not only positive conversation around shifting the investment landscape towards diversity, but also continue to put into motion actions ushering in change. UKBAA has a full line-up of events focused women angels and women founders, including workshops, women’s summits and pitching events. Stay tuned for our full line-up of events to be released shortly!

To read Jordan’s full blog and more of her pieces go here

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