Female founders continue to receive less investment  

All-female-founded teams receive a smaller share of VC equity deals than they did ten years ago

Female founders received just 3.5 per cent of venture capital funding in the first half of 2023, research has found.

The study, using data from Beauhurst, found that figure contrasts with 85.1 per cent invested in all-male founded teams and comes despite an increase in businesses founded by women – of which now make up 20.5 per cent of UK businesses. Troublingly, it is also a fall on 2013’s figure of 4.2 per cent.

Founding teams comprising of both men and women make up the remaining 11.4 per cent, the report says.

Many VC firms are making a concerted effort to back more women-led businesses, with funds such as Capital Pilot’s Boost Fund 1 and the Fund Her North campaign concentrated on doing so. The Investing in Women Code was also established in 2019 by the financial services industry to improve access to finance.

In June 2022, Growth Business reported that female founders were giving away 10 per cent more equity as men for the same amount of funding.

That report found that overall, women were giving up 43 per cent of their existing share for equity while men were giving up 33 per cent to VCs.

Caroline Nokes, Conservative MP and chair of the Commons’ women and equalities select committee, was quoted as saying in The Times about the latest report: “There are still some enormous barriers and they’re cultural and they’re practical.

“Some of them play into the old-fashioned stereotypes about women not being prepared to be risk-takers. The reality is that women are prepared to be risk-takers, they’re just being denied the same opportunities as their male counterparts.”

More on female founders

Female founders giving up more equity to VCs than menA report has found women are giving away 10 per cent more of their share to VCs than their male counterparts

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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