Helen shares her thoughts on why Fund Her North was started and the need for action...
As we move slowly into 2022 feeling our way through every changing covid rules, snow, rain, and if you are anything like me, a few pounds heavier than at the end of 2021, I’ve been reflecting on why we founded Fund Her North;
1. Tackling startup diversity issues now will create a more economically powerful future
We are living in an era when technology provides the vehicle to create lasting change at a global scale. But the possibilities of technology and innovation will never be truly realised if we're missing out on the ideas and creativity of half the population.
Diversity in entrepreneurialism is essential, as it enables founders to create better and safer products that take everyone into consideration, not just one section of society. And there’s a strong economic argument for this as a 2020 report from McKinsey found that diverse companies perform better, hire better talent and have more engaged employees better than companies that do not focus on diversity and inclusion. Despite this, women remain widely underrepresented in tech roles and start ups.
The Rose Review identifies that rebalancing gender in the start up community will generate an additional £250bn to the UK economy.
2. Closing the gender gap in startup founders and senior leadership roles is a today issue not one for tomorrow
Only one in four UK startups have a female founder (Silicon Valley Bank)
For startups with at least one female founder, 50% had a female CEO compared to just 5% for companies with no female founder. (Silicon Valley Bank)
UK Female Board representation is 34% (New Zealand 42%, Iceland 46%) (PWC)
3. Helping to reverse some of the impact of the pandemic
A report from TrustRadius found that 57% of women surveyed said they experienced more burnout than normal during the pandemic, compared to 36% of men who said the same.
A greater number of women (33%) report taking on more childcare responsibilities in the pandemic than men (19%) at home.
Women in tech were also almost twice as likely to have lost their jobs or to have been furloughed during the pandemic than men (14% vs. 8%).
The March 2021 Strategy and Economic analysis of the Uk showed that progress for women across the UK was not evenly distributed across regions, and for the first time regional inequalities increased. The North West, North East, West Midlands, and Yorkshire and the Humber scored lower than the UK average, and exhibited lower than average annual growth. Women in these regions experience higher than average unemployment rates.
4. More evenly distributing funding
Startups with at least one female founder reported more difficulty finding funding, with 87% saying it was “somewhat or extremely challenging,” while only 78% of startups with no female founder said the same. (Silicon Valley Bank).
Only 1% of VC funding goes to all female teams in the UK (Rose Review)
In the US Kauffman Fellows found that Female VC partners invest in 2x more in Female Founding Teams at the early stages.
54% of women investors have female led businesses in their portfolio. (UKBAA)
At Fund Her North we recognise that by reducing the friction which female founders experience in seeking funding we can provide the ‘pull’ which encourages more women to start and scale their own businesses. Pump priming the Northern, and UK economy with more successful female innovators, business leaders, role models, global CEOs and tomorrow's women angel investors.
We are a community of women in VCs from across the North of Engand who provide warm introductions and support in fundraising for northern, female founders. This is the only organisation of it’s kind in the UK where collaboration across VCs is providing a joined up solution for access to funding for female entrepreneurs from startup, to scale up and exit.
Join our growing membership today by visiting www.fundhernorth.com