Last month we hosted our first Women Angels of the North syndicate lunch in partnership with the British Business Bank. Given all interactions had been virtual up to this point, it was an incredibly powerful experience to have all that wealth of knowledge together in-person, as we understand that forming real connection and agency is critical to the success of the syndicate.
The Women Angels of the North syndicate exists to give Northern, female entrepreneurs equal access to funding to help them to successfully scale their businesses.
Here's some context to how it all began…
It started in 2019 with The Alison Rose Review into Female Entrepreneurship. It highlighted the disparity between investment made in male and female entrepreneurs in the UK. At the time, businesses with all-female teams were securing less than 1% of UK venture capital funding and only 4% of deals went to all-female founders.
In response to this, NorthInvest, a Leeds-based not-for-profit organisation set up to help Northern tech start-up access angel investment, launched the Fund Her North initiative in October 2020. Fund Her North is a collective of women entrepreneurs and investors across the North of England that aim to help female entrepreneurs and female-led businesses to gain investment, confidence, and support in a business landscape they often find more challenging than their male counterparts.
As a natural progression of this, in the summer of this year – the Women Angels of the North syndicate was formed. At the time, there were no women syndicates in the Northern Powerhouse region. The syndicate was formed to support female founders operating across the innovation and creative sectors in the North with access to investment.
We are proud to share that since launching in July 2021, the Women Angels of the North syndicate has hosted 3 pitch events, been introduced to 6 female-led businesses, completed 2 rounds of funding which have totalled over £625,000 and a further two deals are due to close in Q1 of 2022!
With 30 members and the numbers growing rapidly, we believe that the Women Angels of the North Syndicate is a fantastic gateway into angel investing - providing a supportive and educational environment for members who want to back female founders seeking investment.
Don’t just take it from us! When asked why the women joined the syndicate - we received comments such as this is a ‘safe’ place to meet like-minded women who want to support female entrepreneurs, it provides a platform to meet new women investors and a place where they can find great quality deals and share their expertise.
By bringing together like-minded women with a shared interest in innovation and investment, we hope to ignite the Northern female entrepreneurial ecosystem and provide important opportunities for growth for female founders and for female investors.
Jordan Dargue, Founder of Fund Her North, Board Director of NorthInvest and a Women Angel Investor in her own right said: “I am delighted by the response in which the Women Angels of the North Syndicate has received to date. Women Angels of the North provides a fantastic gateway into angel investing for women investors. Whether they have invested previously or are new to this landscape we provide a supportive and educational environment for members that is free from judgement. We believe this group can foster substantial growth for female founders as well as female investors - watch this space!”
Helen Oldham, Founder of Fund Her North and Founding Board Director at NorthInvest: “We've been so impressed with the speed at which this syndicate has formed and the high calibre of the women investors in the group. The excitement at being able to make a collective difference in supporting female entrepreneurs was palpable at our first two pitch events. We're excited at what the future holds for this group”
Dr Sophie Dale-Black, UK Network Director for the North of England at the British Business Bank: “It’s fantastic to see female angel investors coming together in the North to provide support to female entrepreneurs. Working with female entrepreneurs to raise awareness of finance opportunities and to develop their connections with investors are important actions to support the growth and success of their businesses.”
This highlights the need to continue growing the syndicate as we believe that by bringing together women with a shared interest in innovation and investment - we hope to ignite the Northern female entrepreneurial ecosystem and provide important opportunities for growth for female founders and for female investors.
We would also like to take this opportunity to thank the British Business Bank for supporting this event.
It's not too late to become a part of our growing Women Angels of the North syndicate and support innovative female-owned businesses! Join us today - www.fundhernorth.com