Female angels invest £2bn in UK companies

Almost 25% of companies backed by female angel investors over the past decade been founded by women – higher than the national average of 19%

Female angel investors have pumped more than £2bn into UK companies over the past decade, according to research.

The Women Angel Insights report from the UK Business Angels Association (UKBAA) and Beauhurst reveals more than 5,000 women are making angel investments across the UK, having back over 4,000 businesses over the past 10 years.

This is having a positive effect on funding for female founders, who are currently underfunded and giving up more equity than their male counterparts.

Almost 25 per cent of those companies backed by female angels were female-founded – higher than the average 19 per cent of businesses founded by women.

See also: Fund Her North facilitates £1.2m worth of funding for women founders

The most popular sectors for women investors have been in technology innovation, with fintech, AI, adtech, edtech and e-health topping the list.

Despite this, the report reveals women remain a minority in the angel investment world, making up just 14 per cent of angel investors. Less than half a per cent (157) have achieved a portfolio of 10 investments or more.

The UKBAA, together with the Rose Review of Female Entrepreneurship, plans to extend its Women Backing Women campaign, which seeks to inspire and empower more women to become angel investors and back female entrepreneurs across the UK.

See also: Female Ventures Fund to invest £10m in women-only start-ups in first year

Jenny Tooth OBE, executive chair of the UKBAA, said: “This report shows that female angel investors are a vital source of equity and support to building and scaling up new businesses and have made a fantastic contribution to our economy over the past 10 years.

“Representing only 14 per cent of total investment at present, we need to at least double the current pool of women angel investors. That’s why we are holding events in regions and nations around the UK, through the Women Backing Women campaign, to inspire, encourage and support women to become angels.

“Our aim now is to bring together and call on the investment community, the new government and wider ecosystem to unlock the potential of female angel investment to back the growth ambitions of many more female founders across the UK.”

Alison Rose, chief executive of NatWest Group, added: “The Rose Review found that £250bn could be added to the UK economy if women started and scaled businesses at the same rate as men.

“This first of its kind report shows the important role of female angel investors in ensuring women founders can access early-stage capital and highlights the need to do more to encourage more women to explore angel investing.

“We hope this study will act as an inspiration for action and collaboration across the investing landscape, which will in turn help female founders realise their ambitions.”

More on female angel investors

How closing the gender gap in angel investing can boost success for female founders

Dom Walbanke

Dom Walbanke

Dom is a feature writer for Growth Business and Small Business, focused on matters concerning start-ups and scale-ups. He has also been published in the Independent, FourFourTwo magazine and various lifestyle...

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