Angel Investment Forum: VC sector is letting down female entrepreneurs

Jenny Tooth OBE, CEO of UKBAA, highlights the importance of angel investment spurring greater investment in women.

Two-thirds of UK venture capital firms have no women at all in senior investment positions, according to figures shared at the Northern Women Angel Investment Forum this year.

These disturbing trends amplified the research undertaken for the British Business Bank Equity Tracker report for 2018, showing the overall angel investment into female-founded companies is disproportionate in their access to growth-stage capital compared to their male-founded counterparts. 

At the UK Business Angels Association hosted event, entrepreneurs and investors gathered to review the current landscape for women investors, learn about latest developments, share inside stories and experience on the world of angel investing – and explore ideas on what more can be done to encourage women to get involved in the exciting world of investing in the UK’s start-ups.

Jenny Tooth OBE, CEO of the UK Business Angels Association, believes more event such as the Northern Women Angel Investment Forum to ignite greater investment in women and neutralise investment disparities.

She says: “Companies with female founders were only 5% of total venture capital deals in 2018 and only 2% of total investment value. With such media coverage regarding women in business and tech, statistics highlight the gargantuan challenge for female-founded businesses to access sufficient investment to scale up.

“Furthermore, female founders are more likely to get funded at the seed stage with 24% of all seed-stage deals being in companies with at least one female founder. This reveals the challenge that women founders have in accessing growth stage capital. The magnitude of the task to get women their fair proportion of equity is vast.

“Events like the Northern Women Angel Investment Forum are pivotal for inspiring women to invest in each other and start to level the playing field. Statistics have shown a worrying decline overall in the level of equity investments overall in female founders in 2018. 

“We take pride in the fact that angel investments in women founders represent 22% of seed-stage deals, highlighting that angel investors are a significant source of investment for companies with at least one female founder. We believe this demonstrates the importance of encouraging more female angel investors who are much more likely to support female-founded businesses.”
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