Twenty fearless female founders of colour are on the path to launching their own businesses following a chance to develop their ideas through a trailblazing South London incubator programme.
Launched by Hatch enterprise in mid-October with the financial support of NatWest and eBay, the Female Founders Accelerator programme is one of the UK’s only small business support networks for BAME women (women in the UK who have non-white backgrounds including black, Asian or minority ethnic).
Twenty BAME female entrepreneurs participating in the programme have been selected from a variety of industries and backgrounds. They are working intensively on their businesses at Google’s dedicated learning space, Academy London. – a dedicated learning hub near Victoria station in central London, and with further backing from Google for Startups.
Hatch Enterprise is an award-winning incubator working primarily with under-represented groups of entrepreneurs.
For a number of years, it has supported ambitious female founders through a new style of programme that super-charges their businesses. Its newest programme, the Female Founders Accelerator, is based on insight gained by working with and listening to more than 100 female founders.
Research shows women-led businesses consistently outperform those led by men: the Untapped Unicorns report notes 34 per cent of male entrepreneurs have seen a business fail compared with 23 per cent of female founders, and women entrepreneurs bring in 20 per cent more revenue with 50 per cent less money invested. Although, only 20 per cent of the SMEs in the UK are led by women and 6.2 per cent of the SMEs in the UK are BAME led.
Hatch’s Female Founders Accelerator is committed to tackling a lack of diversity within the community of successful female founders.
The programme provides five months of intensive support including two months of workshops focussing on business growth (e.g. business modelling, marketing, financial management, public relations and more), business coaching and dedicated networking sessions; followed by three months of expert mentoring for each individual.
Hatch Enterprise Programme Manager, Bayo Adelaja, said, “Without support, nine out of 10 entrepreneurs will fail over any given three-year time period.”
“For the BAME community, 19 out of 20 female founders will fail over the same time period.”
“With our Female Founders (BAME) Accelerator, we want to reduce failure rates by 70 per cent, enabling at least 14 of the 20 female founders to build a sustainable business that survives beyond its third birthday.”
“This is an exciting initiative in the landscape of entrepreneurship in the UK, giving BAME female founders an opportunity to succeed, scale up and thrive.”
NatWest Managing Director of Personal Banking in London, Rachel Blackamore, said, “As the UK’s biggest and best bank for business – we help businesses to trade safely and securely in an uncertain world.”
“Starting and sustaining a business can be daunting, so the business-oriented projects that we fund through the Skills & Opportunities Fund focus on building the skills, experience and resilience necessary to succeed in business in the long-term.”
“It’s through initiatives like the Female Founders BAME Accelerator that we are able to support people who might not have accessed business training independently, encouraging the different ideas and ways of thinking that are essential to the sustainable economic and social development of a thriving and diverse society.”
“The feedback we receive from previous winners really brings home the impact of the Fund both on individuals and the wider community…”