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Women are more likely to succeed in business with the help of other women

Just 14% of investors in UK companies are women. Photo: Jenny Marvin/Unsplash

Businesses owned by women are a fifth more likely to succeed with the support of female investors, according to statistics released Friday.

Research by non-profit business hub the UK Business Angels Association (UKBAA) found that women-owned firms backed by other women are 21% more likely to thrive than those with only male investors. Unfortunately, just 14% of investors in UK companies are women.

The biggest factor inhibiting women from investing is a lack of confidence, according to the UKBAA. In a survey of over 2,000 people, 48% of female respondents who have the means to invest in small-to-medium businesses, but choose not to, said they do not have the confidence to become an investor.

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Another significant factor is a lack of female role models in the sector, the survey found. Two in five women who have the means to invest but do not, said they do not pursue a career in investment because of a shortage of senior women in the field and, consequently, a lack of female mentorship.

Additionally, 13% of millennial women said they would like to enter the investment arena in 2019, but feel held back because of their gender.

On International Women’s Day 2019, the UKBAA is encouraging women who have the capability to support businesses to become investors and join their local investment communities. 

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This follows the news that nine British female CEOs will receive £50,000 each as part of the government’s Women in Innovation Award. The next stage of their business growth will require further investment and guidance, the UKBAA said, and other women may be best suited to the job.

“Diversity, and the lack of it, is a prominent issue that transcends the majority of professional sectors within the UK. We need to build women’s investor confidence by highlighting successful case studies and increasing the conversation about women investors — it is all about increasing awareness that women do and can successfully invest in entrepreneurs,” Jenny Tooth, CEO of the UK Business Angels Association, said.

“Diversity provides access to huge advantages for both the investment and entrepreneurial community, and the UKBAA pledges for women with the financial capabilities to invest to fill the gender investment void that is clouding the UK’s investment arena.”