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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Simon Hunt

Report shows rising power of female angel investors

Jenny Tooth

(Picture: Business Angels Association)

The growing financial firepower of Britain’s female investment community was revealed today in a new report finding women have funded 4000 businesses in deals worth more than £2.3 billion over the past 10 years.

Almost 25% of female-founded firms were backed by an army of over 5000 female investors, according to research by the UK Business Angels Association., significantly higher than the 19% of female-founded firms backed by the angel investment community overall.

Executive chair of trade body UK Business Angels, Jenny Tooth OBE, told the Standard: “Over the last 10 years women angel investors have been making a very significant aspect on the UK economy.

“Women have a very considerable number of entrepreneurs in their portfolio and this will really influence the number of female founders in the UK.”

62% of the investment by women angels was in London and South East England, the report found, while only 14% of the UK’s angel investors are women.

“A big part of our work has been to really change that landscape; if you change that mix of investors in the room, then there will be more understanding, more empathy, but also who comes into the room – the pipeline – will be dramatically change,” Tooth said.

The research follows the publication of the government-sponsored Rose Review into female entrepreneurship, which found that fewer UK women choose to become entrepreneurs compared with Australia, the US and Canada, while some £250 billion could be added to the UK economy if women started and scaled businesses at the same rate as men.

Tooth said an abundance of male-only investment groups was holding back many potential women from getting involved in the industry, as well as a tendency among some women to keep their investment decisions and contacts a secret.

“Lots of women who do invest don’t necessarily share the knowledge of networks they do invest within, unlike men, who tend to talk about all their investment decisions down the pub.”

“Many of the women said their financial advisers don’t talk about angel investing to them, assuming they’re risk averse and pushing them to asset investment instead.”

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