A gender seeking lenders: Go, girls!

IT MAY once have been a man’s world, but the Department for Business and Trade and the Council for Investing in Female Entrepreneurs aim to level things up.

Research commissioned by the UK government found that a lack of funding was one of the most significant barriers to women seeking to scale a business. Up to £250bn could be added to the UK economy if women started and scaled new businesses at the same rate as men.

Businesswomen using whiteboard
Photo by Christina Morillo on Pexels

Online information can be fragmented and confusing for those trying to navigate an entrepreneurial path. The hub aims to serve as a first port-of-call for female businesspeople from around the UK, supporting them with pathways to finance. The site shares expertise from financial institutions, law firms, private equity investors, and advisory services companies.

The groups involved united to unveil a new version of the Invest in Women Hub in Manchester, a resource for female founders seeking finance to start, grow and scale a business. The initiative has been re-designed and updated, using feedback from UK founders, to collate practical resources, tools, relevant news and events.

Representatives from across the entrepreneurial sphere gathered to discuss the current landscape. Speakers included Pinesh Mehta, investor at Business Growth Fund (BGF), Rohini Gupta, founder and CEO at FinregE, an automated financial regulatory compliance solution, and Helen Oldham, co-founder at Lifted Ventures, an angel investor network.

Resources have been tailored to help get businesses off the ground, and expand them. The hub includes sections focused on resources, news and events. It also features a “Find a Finance Provider” tool, and will be regularly updated.

The Council for Investing in Female Entrepreneurs is a voluntary collective established in 2019 to encourage and support women in business, comprised of organisations including the British Business Bank, Diversity VC, Goldman Sachs, KPMG, NatWest and UBS.

The Minister for Enterprise, Markets and Small Business, Kevin Hollinrake MP, said a record 150,000 female-led companies were founded in 2022.