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Female founders and investors get further support to spur growth trend

The Treasury commissioned Alison Rose, the chief executive of NatWest, to lead an independent review of female entrepreneurship.
The Treasury commissioned Alison Rose, the chief executive of NatWest, to lead an independent review of female entrepreneurship.

A business investment for women roadshow is coming to Aberdeen and Dundee, as a new report shows more female founders than ever are starting up companies in Scotland.

Mint Ventures, a women-led business angel investment club and network in Scotland, will be bringing their event to Aberdeen Wednesday 2 March at the One Tech Hub and will then move to V&A Dundee on Monday 7 March.

The sessions will  offer insights into angel investing, both for potential women investors and entrepreneurs alike, with discussions focusing on insights including how to claim tax relief and how companies are fairly valued.

Rose Review report on female businesses

The event series comes as the Rose Review reveals that the number of companies founded in Scotland by women has more than doubled since 2018.

Nat West chief executive officer Alison Rose. Photo Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

In 2019, the Treasury commissioned Alison Rose, the chief executive of NatWest, to lead an independent review of female entrepreneurship.

The report originally highlighted that if women started and scaled new businesses at the same rate as men, up to £250 billion of new value could be added to the UK economy.

The Rose Review Progress Report 2022 on female entrepreneurship, published today, sets out the full extent of progress made since the inaugural publication in 2019.

It cautions that while progress has been made against targets and initiatives, there is still more to do.

Extra responsibilities

It found that despite the rapid growth in female led startups, female entrepreneurs have spent twice as long on caring responsibilities during the pandemic as their male counterparts, and that their businesses have been less likely to recover.

In response, members of the Rose Review board announced extra measures to boost support for female entrepreneurs:

This includes the launch of a nationwide Women Backing Women campaign from the Women Angel Investment Taskforce, to support women to become business angels and thereby ensure that female founders across the UK have better chance to access early-stage investment, wherever their businesses are based.

Unlocking untapped potential

Ms Rose said: “We have seen real progress since 2019.

“Getting more funding to female entrepreneurs and unlocking their untapped potential continues to be a priority across our industry.

“But women still don’t receive all the support they need and the pandemic risks holding back progress, so we must go further to achieve the goals of the Rose Review.

“Data shows that more women than ever are starting new businesses and we must harness this potential.

“That means more financial institutions committing to delivering change and funding.

“We also need more direct support for businesses across the UK and we must propose fresh, imaginative solutions to the challenges posed by women’s caring responsibilities.”

Gillian Fleming

Gillian Fleming, co-founder and chief executive of Mint Ventures, said: “We welcome the beginning of a sea change with more women starting their own businesses.

“We need to make angel investing more accessible to more women by providing plain English training in a safe space where they can further develop their investment capabilities.”

The Rose Review partnered with data providers, mnAI, to uncover data on female-led incorporations over the past three years.

Data shows that more women than ever are starting new businesses, with 145,200 all-female-led incorporations in 2021, up from 56,200 in 2018.

This represents an average year on year growth of 37% per annum.

These incorporations comprised 20% of the total in 2021, up from 16% in 2018.

In Scotland, 5,951 all-female-led companies were founded 2021, compared to 2,630 in 2018.

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