The annual review of the Investing in Women Code shows that significant steps have been made in increasing lending to women entrepreneurs in 2021 but that the percentage of women-led business applying for funding remains behind all-male founder teams.

The Investing in Women Code is a commitment by financial services firms to improving female entrepreneurs’ access to tools, resources and finance.

  • 160 lenders and investors are now signed up to a government-industry code helping women entrepreneurs access the finance they need to succeed.
  • Code signatories have been backing women-led businesses, including significantly more venture capital deals in firms with female founders.
  • Government encourages even more lenders and investors to sign up to the code to further support women-led businesses.

The British Business Bank, UK Business Angels Association (UKBAA), UK Finance and the British Private Equity & Venture Capital Association (BVCA) (the 'Code Partners) worked with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy's in providing data for its annual report into the Investing in Women Code (taking over from HM Treasury). 

Highlights of the results for 2021 are:

  • The average loan approved for women-led businesses was £51,300 compared to £107,300 for male-led businesses.
  • Angel investors' results show similar amounts being requested by all-female teams (£791,000) as all-male teams (£823,000). This is a significant and encouraging change from 2020, when all-female teams requested less than 50% of the amounts requested by male-only teams.
  • Data from venture and growth capital firms was similarly positive. The proportion of deals concluded with all-female founder teams was 9%, up from 6% in 2020 and compared to a benchmark of 7% for the market as a whole.

The Code Partners say that they, "... Remain committed to supporting and onboarding organisations interested in signing up to the Code. Over the next year we will aim to achieve a significant increase in the number of Code signatories across all parts of the funding supply chain and we will continue to review our engagement with the community of Code signatories, we will be seeking to showcase more of the actions being adopted by signatories in next year’s report. We also welcome feedback on this report and on the evolution of the Code.2021 was a year of increased interest and commitments to the Code.

Over the coming years, we hope to see this translate into better funding outcomes for women across the UK."

External links

Get involved: Sign up to the Investing in Women Code

Report: Investing in Women Code 2022

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