The Department for Business and Trade (DBT), in partnership with the Council for Investing in Female Entrepreneurs (CIFE) has unveiled the new-look Invest in Women Hub at a launch event in Manchester.
The Invest in Women Hub is the go-to resource for female founders seeking to understand how to access the finance needed to start, grow and scale a business. The new Invest in Women Hub has been re-designed and updated based on feedback from founders across the UK, and collates practical resources, tools, relevant news and events to inspire and accelerate female entrepreneurship.
The refreshed Hub was officially launched earlier this month at a panel event hosted by UBS in Manchester, where representatives from across the entrepreneurial landscape including female founders and investors, came together to discuss the current landscape for female entrepreneurs in Manchester and across the UK. Speakers included Pinesh Mehta, Investor at Business Growth Fund (BGF); Rohini Gupta, founder and CEO at FinregE, an automated financial regulatory compliance solution; and Helen Oldham, Co-Founder at Lifted Ventures, an angel investor network primed to address the lack of funding going to diverse entrepreneurs outside of London and the South East.
There is a wealth of online information available for the UK’s entrepreneurs, but the fragmented nature of these resources can be confusing for founders trying to navigate an overwhelming digital landscape. The Invest in Women Hub is intended to address this issue, by serving as a reliable first port of call for female entrepreneurs all around the UK, supporting them with pathways to the finance needed to start, grow and scale a business. The site features expertise from leading financial institutions, law firms, private equity investors, advisory services companies across the UK business ecosystem who share that goal.
Research commissioned by the UK Government found that a lack of funding is one of the most significant barriers to women seeking to effectively scale a business. The same research also found that up to up to £250 billion of new value (equivalent to 1 million SME businesses) could be added to the UK economy if women started and scaled new businesses at the same rate as UK men.
Resources on the Hub have been tailored to address three clear stages of business growth: Start, Grow, and Scale. Start offers everything you need to know to get your business off the ground, Grow helps female founders learn how to take the next step to growing their business, and Scale offers details showing how to accelerate your established business.
The Invest in Women Hub includes sections focused on resources, news and events. It also features a “Find a Finance Provider” tool, which makes it easy for entrepreneurs to find finance partners for every stage of growth, including business incubators, accelerators and venture capital. This resource is unique to the Invest in Women Hub and will be regularly updated to ensure a complete picture of the funding available for female entrepreneurs across the UK.
The Council for Investing in Female Entrepreneurs, which runs the Hub, is a voluntary collective established in 2019 to encourage and support women in business, comprised of organisations including the British Business Bank, Diversity VC, Goldman Sachs, KPMG, NatWest and UBS.
Minister for Enterprise, Markets and Small Business, Kevin Hollinrake MP, said: “Over 150,000 new all-women led companies were founded in 2022, more than ever before and I want to see even more join them.
“The support available from the Invest in Women Hub, alongside existing government backed finance, will help female entrepreneurs to start, grow and scale up their businesses”.
Alexandra Daly, co-chair of the Council for Investing in Female Entrepreneurs, and CEO and Founder of AA Advisors, said: “The launch of the new Invest in Women Hub is an exciting milestone for women entrepreneurs across the UK. The Hub offers female entrepreneurs a wealth of opportunities, including funding information, resources, and events, in turn levelling the playing field for female business owners. We’ve listened to women entrepreneurs from across the UK and have redesigned the Hub to meet the needs of those users at all stages of their businesses. The result is a first-stop-shop of information for women seeking to raise capital that we hope will support female entrepreneurs across the UK to start, grow and scale their businesses.”
Rohini Gupta, founder and CEO at FinregE, said: “When I was looking to grow my business there were a number of different resources which was overwhelming, and it was a challenge to understand the types of support or finance options available. The Invest in Women Hub is a great tool and resource to bring together so much information in one place, which will be so beneficial for women entrepreneurs at any stage of their business journey.”
Jane Booth, Head of the Manchester Office at UBS Global Wealth Management, said: “We know that growing and scaling a business can be a lonely and difficult journey without access to a supportive network, and the new Invest in Women hub is a great resource for women founders and entrepreneurs across the UK. In the North West, we are doing well to establish a supportive ecosystem, but there remains work to be done. I encourage founders across the region to take advantage of the resources provided by the hub at each stage of their business journey.”