Finance sector can seize opportunity to support female entrepreneurs, says new report

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New data suggests that the 100 signatories of the Investing in Women Code are more likely to invest in female-run businesses than other investors, the government has announced today.

According to the new Annual Investing in Women Report, which sets out findings on the support provided to female entrepreneurs in the United Kingdom, women and men were equally successful in applications for bank finance this year, albeit for smaller loans on average.

All-female teams were also reported to have had a higher success rate than all-male teams in being taken forward for further consideration by the angel investors who participated.

Exchequer Secretary Kemi Badenoch commented: “A diverse and inclusive business environment is good for customers, jobs, entrepreneurs, and society.

“I welcome today’s findings and urge the finance community to build on the success of the code, sign up and help ensure that the innovation, creativity and drive of female entrepreneurs is fully realised through the next stages of our economic recovery.”

The Code, launched in July 2019, is a commitment to support female entrepreneurship in the UK by improving women’s access to the advice, resources and finance needed to build a business.

The Code was set up after access to finance was identified as the number one disparity between female and male entrepreneurs by the independent Rose Review, carried out by Alison Rose, CEO of NatWest.

Member firms supply the data published today in the Code’s annual progress report as part of a commitment to improve transparency and create an industry benchmark for investment in female entrepreneurs.

Signatories commit to nominating a member of the senior leadership team responsible for supporting equality in access to finance, increase the transparency of data concerning support for female entrepreneurs and adopt internal practices to improve the outlook for female entrepreneurs.

To date the Code has had 100 signatories sign up, consisting of banks, venture capital firms and angel investors.

The data in today’s report was collected between January and September 2020.

The Annual Investing in Women Report, the first since the code’s launch, is available on the government website.