A new review has urged banks to publish its data on the funding available for female entrepreneurs as part of a new voluntary investor code.
The Investing in Female Entrepreneurs Code commits all financial institutions to the principle of gender equality and transparent reporting of gender funding data.
NatWest, Lloyds Banking Group, UK Finance and UK Business Angels Association have already confirmed they will adopt the code.
Alison Rose, Deputy CEO of NatWest Holdings and CEO, Commercial & Private Banking, has set out the findings and recommendations of the independent review into female entrepreneurship, as commissioned by HM Treasury last September.
The Rose Review found that only one in three entrepreneurs are women, a gender gap equivalent to over one million fewer female entrepreneurs in the UK. Closing the gap between women and men could add an additional £250 billion in Gross Value Add to the UK economy, equivalent to four years of economic growth. Crucially women are also drastically under represented in the most productive sectors with less than one in four entrepreneurs in sectors like transport and information technology being women.
The Rose Review aims to increase the number of female entrepreneurs in Britain by 50 per cent, through a number of different initiatives, including launching new investment vehicles to increase funding going to female entrepreneurs; reviewing existing and create new banking products aimed at entrepreneurs with family care responsibilities; and expanding existing mentorship and networking opportunities.
Speaking of the review, Rose, said, “The UK has one of the most vibrant entrepreneurial communities in the world, but only one in three of our entrepreneurs is female – we need to be more ambitious and find ways to unlock the huge untapped potential.”
“The launch of the Rose Review of Female Entrepreneurship provides the routes for how we, business, public sector and Government can achieve this together.”
“It is imperative that we support female entrepreneurs and capitalise on the missed opportunity which is significant, equating to more than one million missing businesses and £250 billion for the UK economy.”
“I am passionate about this cause, and was proud to have been asked to lead this Review.”
“Some of the findings are stark but by shining a spotlight on the issues and outlining the barriers and opportunities, the aim is to support the full potentia of every woman who has the entrepreneurial spirit and ambition to start or scale their business.”
“Today is just the beginning.”
Prime Minister, Theresa May added, “I want to build a country where all women can go as far as their talents and hard work can take them.”
“It’s fantastic that we already have over a million women-led businesses, and the gender pay gap is at a record low, but the findings in this Review show there is much further to go.”
“Alison and her team set out an ambitious path to smash this glass ceiling so that we can realise the full potential of female entrepreneurs and boost economic growth.”
“I am committed to real change in this area, starting with our action today to encourage more companies to look at the gender split of who they choose to invest in.”