20th March 2018

Women investors across UK and Europe overwhelmingly back female founders

In the run up to International Women’s Day on the 8th March, the UK Business Angels Association released a new report. Titled 'The Barriers and Opportunities for Women Angel Investing in Europe', the study is compiled from 640 high-net-worth and sophisticated women, of which 310 were already investing and 330 not yet investing, across the UK, France, Italy, Spain and Belgium, analysing the comparative sentiments of women investors across Europe towards angel investment.

Supported and part-funded by the European Commission, the report reveals a concerning trend across Europe of gender-skewed advice, a lack of confidence and a dearth of senior female role models. The report also unveils an acute requirement for more women investors due to the propensity with which they invest in women entrepreneurs, with nearly 20 per cent having invested in three to 10 women founders compared with only a few leading male angels investing in a significant number of women founders.

Featuring in-depth interviews with women investors across Europe, the report reveals:
• 54 per cent of investors had previously founded, co-founded or run at least one company.
• Nearly 80 per cent of women investors were putting in less than £20,000 per funding round.
• 47 per cent of women invest between £5,000- £10,000 per company/funding round, reflecting a low risk approach, while only 11 per cent are putting in between £20,000 and £50,000.
• UK has the lowest percentage of women angel investors across the six countries.
• 14 per cent of women investors have been informed by advisory sources about relevant tax breaks or funds enabling them to invest in small businesses.
• The majority of women were instead directed to stocks and shares first- followed by bonds, pension funds, assets under management and property before being made aware about EIS and VCTs.
• 78 per cent of women investors only found out about relevant investment opportunities because of their own professional groupings and networks.
• 54 per cent of women non-investors thought that life stage and other priorities prevented them from angel investing.
• 40 per cent of non-investors identified angel investment as too risky.