Celebrating the importance of female entrepreneurs and investors
We celebrated International Women’s Day on the 8th March by highlighting women like our head of delivery, Sarah, who is challenging the norm and paving the way for more women in fintech. Following this, we wanted to shine a light on all of the great things that are happening across the broader industry at the moment which are contributing to positive and progressive changes for female entrepreneurs and women in fintech.
In 2019, The Rose Review was conducted with the aim of tapping into the unrealised economic potential of female entrepreneurs by making the UK one of the best countries in the world for women to start and grow new businesses. The review generated eight initial recommendations which cumulatively aimed to improve the access to funding, advice and opportunity for female entrepreneurs. The recommendations were as follows:
- Promote greater transparency in UK funding allocation through a new Investing in Female Entrepreneurs Code.
- Launch new investment vehicles to increase funding going to female entrepreneurs.
- Encourage UK based institutional and private investors to further support and invest in female entrepreneurs.
- Review existing and create new banking products aimed at entrepreneurs with family care responsibilities.
- Improve access to expertise by expanding the entrepreneur and banker in residence programmes.
- Expand existing mentorship and networking opportunities.
- Accelerate development and roll-out of entrepreneurship-related courses to schools and colleges.
- Create an entrepreneur digital first-stop shop.
In March last year, NatWest Group CEO Alison Rose, who was commissioned to lead the initial independent review of female entrepreneurship by the UK government, released a progress report follow-up to the original research. The review report found that progress was being made on all eight recommendations, serving as a starting platform for further wide-ranging change. Despite this though, the review board acknowledged that change does not happen overnight and that there’s still space for more to be done to realise the full economic potential of UK female entrepreneurs.
Following this, Delio client Coutts announced that they were partnering with venture capital investor BGF to launch The UK Enterprise Fund. Their planned growth strategy aimed to “address equity gaps from the whole entrepreneurial ecosystem, with specific initiatives and programmes for female-led businesses and aimed at increasing the diversity of management teams.” The strategy from BGF and Natwest-owned Coutts has enabled clients of Coutts to invest in diverse growth economy companies across the UK.
The Rose Review Council have since released Guidance and Best Practice Examples for VCs, Private Equity and Institutional Investors in relation to Diversity & Female Entrepreneurship. This guidance document, released in February of this year, was supported by many founding signatories of diversity and inclusion initiatives, including many of Delio’s clients such as Barclays, UBS and UKBAA. It was created to act as a resource for investors who wish to maximise access to diverse deal flow, and manage their companies and portfolios to optimise return.
Initiatives such as these are not only rightfully shining a spotlight on how much more needs to be done within the industry to make it a more inclusive environment for all, but also take a huge step in attempting to close some of those gaps through meaningful and material actions for change.
We’re incredibly proud to be in a position to support clients that are unafraid to challenge the norm and take action for gender equality. Delio technology is already being utilised by forward-thinking businesses across the world to create new and exciting ways to connect female entrepreneurs, investors and business owners, and we look forward to playing a key role in creating a more diverse financial landscape in the years to come.