Unlocking the power of women as angel investors

The number of women who are currently angel investors has not increased over two years, study reveals.

Only 14 per cent of angel investors are women, said a survey commissioned by the UK Business Angels Association (UKBAA) and Centre for Entrepreneurs in 2015; and UKBAA doesn’t think figures have substantially changed since then.

The trade body for angel and early-stage investing is launching a two-year campaign on International Women’s Day to build the proportion of women angel investors to at least 30 per cent.

UKBAA believes this will not only benefit female entrepreneurs, who at present have to pitch for investment to a community comprised largely of men, but will also pay dividends to the high net worth women with financial capacity and business experience who are currently missing out on the opportunity to back the UK’s high-potential entrepreneurs.

Jenny Tooth, CEO of UKBAA, says, ‘With so many great women across the UK succeeding as entrepreneurs and professionals, it does not make sense that so few of these are using their money, skills and expertise to back the next wave of early-stage businesses.

‘At this time when the UK economy is going through major shifts and changes, there could not be a more important time to ensure we have a diverse base of angel investors; and raise the level of awareness and understanding to enable many more women to engage with the opportunity to become business angels.’

UKBAA and Angel Academe, the award-winning angel network, are launching a European Commission-backed piece of research that aims to identify the barriers to high net worth women engaging with angel investing.

The aim is to identify key actions that can be taken over the coming two years to reverse this trend. Data will be benchmarked across six European countries.

UKBAA’s campaign to build the proportion of women angel investors to 30 per cent will cover four key areas: the European Commission-backed research; an ambassadorship programme to encourage active women investors to raise awareness and promote opportunities for investment across the UK; a Women in Angel Investment summit in June 2017; and an education initiative that includes the development of a new e-learning programme to provide would-be investors with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed.

Further reading on angel investors

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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