Female angels invest £2bn to help create 10,000 jobs

Female angel investors have helped drive more than £2bn of investment in companies across the UK in the past decade, according to a new study. The Women Angel Insights report from the UK Business Angels Association (UKBAA) and Beauhurst reveals that more than 5,000 women are making angel investments across the UK, helping to create over 10,000 jobs in the past decade.

Despite this, the new report, which is sponsored by NatWest Group, reveals that women remain a minority in angel investment. This shortage of women angels has a direct impact on the UK’s female founders. This is because data shows that women are much more likely to invest in female-founded companies, which are currently underfunded compared to their male counterparts and often unable to meet their full potential. Women angels therefore have a critical role to play in supporting female entrepreneurship in the UK.

To combat this, the UKBAA, as part of its work with the Rose Review of Female Entrepreneurship via the Women Angel Investment Task Force, is announcing plans to extend its Women Backing Women campaign of events, which seek to inform, inspire, educate and empower more women to become angel investors, with the ultimate aim of driving investment to female entrepreneurs across all nations and regions of the UK.

Further highlights from the report, which is the first comprehensive study of female angel investment and its impact in the UK, include:

  • Female angels have been involved in deals worth £2.34 billion over the past decade, backing over 4,000 businesses – including over 1,000 female-founded[1] businesses – and helping to create more than 10,000 jobs.
  • Women angels have a strong appetite for technology innovation, with FinTech, AI, AdTech, EdTech and eHealth the most popular sectors for investment.
  • Women represent a minority of angel investors. Of a total 36,800 angels in the UK only 14% (5,064) are women, and less than 0.5% (157) of female angels have achieved a portfolio of 10 or more.
  • Female angel investors are investing in every region and nation of the UK, but over two thirds of all female investments are made in businesses in London and the South East, compared to just 5% in North West and South West and 1% in Northern Ireland.
  • Almost 25% of companies backed by female angels, were female-founded. This compares to the 19% of female-founded companies backed by the angel community overall.

Jenny Tooth, OBE, Executive Chair of the UK Business Angels Association, said: “This report shows that female angel investors are a vital source of equity and support to building and scaling up new businesses and have made a fantastic contribution to our economy over the past 10 years.

“Representing only 14% of total investment at present, we need to at least double the current pool of women angel investors. That’s why we are holding events in regions and nations around the UK, through the Women Backing Women campaign, to inspire, encourage and support women to become angels. Our aim now is to bring together and call on the investment community, the new Government; and wider ecosystem to unlock the potential of female angel investment to back the growth ambitions of many more female founders across the UK.”

Alison Rose, Chief Executive of NatWest Group, said: “The Rose Review found that £250 billion could be added to the UK economy if women started and scaled businesses at the same rate as men. This first of its kind report shows the important role of female angel investors in ensuring women founders can access early-stage capital and highlights the need to do more to encourage more women to explore angel investing. We hope this study will act as an inspiration for action and collaboration across the investing landscape, which will in turn help female founders realise their ambitions.”