Last month, the UK government published its latest report on the Investing in Women Code: a commitment that financial services firms have undertaken to improve the access of female entrepreneurs to resources, finance and tools.
The 2022 report is the second annual report since the Rose Review was conducted in 2019. It includes both data collected by and actions taken by financial providers during 2021.
The report can be read in full here – but here’s a quick summary of how things have changed.
53 new signatories
2021 welcomed 53 new signatories to the Investing in Women Code: 53 additional finance providers who have committed to removing barriers that female entrepreneurs face. This means that the number of signatories now totals 160.
The biggest growth in signatory numbers was in venture and growth capital firms, with these accounting for 34 of the 53 new Code signatories in the year.
Code signatories are ahead of the market
Investing in Women Code signatories, reveals the report, are more likely to back companies with at least one female founder.
The data shows that, in 2021, 34% of the VC deals made by Code signatories were in companies with at least one female founder, while 9% of deals were made with businesses with all-female founding teams.
These figures are 24% and 7% for the market as a whole – demonstrating signatories’ commitment to female-led businesses.
Increased Angel investment
In 2021, all-female teams requested similar amounts in Angel investment as all-male teams: £791K vs. £823K. While still a little lower than their male counterparts, this figure for female teams is a significant improvement on 2020 figures, where all-female teams requests under 50% of the Angel investment levels of all-male teams.
Work still to be done
While there are some encouraging signs in this year’s report, the data also shows that there is still work to be done.
For all three types of finance covered – loans/overdrafts, Angel investment and VC investment – the percentage of female-led teams seeking funding was lower than for male-led teams. Additionally, all-female teams seeking VC investment were significantly less likely to progress through the investment pipeline than all-male teams.
BEIS and the Investing in Women Code have agreed on three priorities to ensure that the data collected reveals even better results in 2023:
- Increase the number of Code signatories. This will give a more rounded picture of the funding journey, and allow for better trending of data.
- Showcase signatory actions and adopt best practices.
- Refine data collection and analysis – including which further metrics should be collected to allow better analysis of the journey that female entrepreneurs take, and the challenges they face.
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