As the British Design Fund launches its fifth fund we take a look at the female founders we have already invested in.
The Fund has 5 female founders/co-founders out of a portfolio of 23 (21.7%).
The Gender Index notes that only 16.8% of active UK companies are led by women and they only attract 12% of the 1.3m investments made in UK firms, particularly surprising given 30.2% of angels are women. The Gender Index report goes on to say £250bn could be contributed to the UK economy simply by empowering women to start a business.
In 2021, 20% of newly founded businesses were female-led, so in keeping with the British Design Fund portfolio. Female-led companies tend to look for angel investment rather than VC/PE funds, with male led companies nearly 6 times more likely to obtain funding. The UK average for VC investments in women as a % of total investments was at 0.5%, so definitely a gap that the British Design Fund is plugging.
The Fund is also a signatory of the Investing in Women Code.
To discuss this issue in more detail and to explore the experiences of the female founders we work with here at BDF, our Chairman, John Mathers, recently caught up with some of our investees. You can hear what they had to say below.