Female founders not heard by male investors

Access to capital remains largest challenge for female founders; one in five female founders feel they haven't been heard when they have spoken to male investors.

Today AllBright, the first funding and support platform of its kind for female entrepreneurs, announces the results of its FoundHER Female Founders survey, an original piece of research commissioned to better-understand the challenges and opportunities faced by female founders (and aspiring female founders) in the UK at all levels of business and across all sectors.

‘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,’ says AllBright co-founder, Debbie Wosskow.

‘But when only 2.19 per cent 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 per cent of female founders feel they haven’t been heard when they have spoken to male investors.’

Confidence and networks

One of the most prominent findings from the survey is how much confidence female founders are given when introductions are made through specifically tailored networking and social events. The research also shows that women hold their networks in high regard and provide great value, with 65 per cent of women stating that they feel most confident when meeting like-minded people in this fashion.

A broadminded and collaborative approach to starting a business

Female founders are open-minded, and start their enterprises with male or female business partners. A focus on collaboration is clear, with 40 per cent of female founders confirming that they have a business partner — but the data showed those co-founders are spread perfectly evenly, with 50% female and 50 per cent male.

Anna Jones, AllBright co-founder says, ‘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.’

Office space

The report also reveals that more than a third of our survey respondents need a space to work where they can be more effective. Of those, 38 per cent say they need space to launch or grow their businesses that doesn’t exist at home; 32 per cent say they need a more professional environment to conduct business or meet clients; and 19 per cent say it’s impossible to get anything done in their current environments — there are too many distractions, it’s too noisy, or there are competing demands that means they simply can’t focus.

Professional skills

A third of our respondents also expressed that they would like to take a formal class or course to better-prepare them for entrepreneurship — but of those women, more than half feel like they aren’t able to do as they feel they don’t have enough money for the right courses and most feel they don’t know where to go to access the resources they need (42 per cent).

Debbie Wosskow, co-founder at AllBright comments, ‘AllBright launched in November 2016 to plug the funding gap and to help make the UK the best place in the world to be a female founder. 1 in 10 women in the UK want to start a business but don’t have the capital or resources to do so. Today we’re announcing the The AllBright Academy. The digital programme will be available online via the AllBright website from the 26th June and we will open an Academy in London and in Manchester later this year.’

Further reading on female founders

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the Smallbusiness.co.uk and Growthbusiness.co.uk titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the Express.co.uk.

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