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IW Capital launches Women’s Entrepreneurship Index

18 July 2019

IW Capital has got behind the government’s latest scheme to support female entrepreneurship with the launch of its own Women’s Entrepreneurship Index. 

Plans to increase the number of British female entrepreneurs by 50% have taken a leap forward with a host of major banks and venture capital firms all pledging their support to the government’s Investing in Women Code, which is seeking to improve women’s access to the advice, resources and finance needed to build a business.

In response, IW Capital Women’s Entrepreneurship Index explores why women face more hurdles and challenges than their male counterparts in setting up their own business.

The findings revealed that a third of women feel less supported by the government to start their own business venture than previous generations and women are 21% less likely to consider an entrepreneurial route more attractive than working for someone else.

The research also discovered a perceived advantage for men in the UK to start their own business over women, with men 52% more likely to feel they have the capital to start up on their own than women. Fewer than one in five small and medium-sized enterprises in the UK are led by women and two-thirds of women admitted to not feeling they were taken seriously by potential investors when raising money for new ventures. Worryingly, just 9% of UK start-up funding goes to women-run businesses.

The findings reiterated a study conducted by the UK Business Angels Association which showed that over half (54%) of female angel investors had backed at least one female-founded business, whilst only a small minority of male investors had done the same.

Luke Davis, CEO and founder, IW Capital, said: “[With] the introduction of the Investing in Women Code, this subject has scarcely been more important. Optimum productivity across our private sector can only be secured by utilising the full capacity of this nation’s diverse talent pool. Failing to do so will of course impede the growth and success of our economy, with up to 50% of the potential and subsequent productivity being restricted.”

With the SME arena contributing £1.9 trillion to the UK economy in 2017 alone, Davis said ensuring it has the “widest possible pool of talent” to draw from is crucial.

He added: “Encouraging investment into female-founded businesses is clearly something that must be improved upon through legislation as well as fostering an environment in which women feel that they have the support and resources available to start businesses.”

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