On the 26th of January, HSBC hosted a celebration event to honour the exceptional achievements of female entrepreneurs as part of the annual Thrive20 list. This prestigious recognition highlights the remarkable blend of business acumen and purpose demonstrated by women who have taken the road less travelled in their entrepreneurial journey.
In a world where female entrepreneurs are not only breaking through the glass ceiling but shattering it, the Thrive20 list aims to support a culture of innovation and change. Despite their growing impact, female-led businesses remain significantly underfunded. Recent reports reveal that a mere 2% of venture capital funding in the UK goes to female and minority ethnic-founded businesses. This disparity underscores the challenges these entrepreneurs face, with one-third of women citing access to funding as the biggest barrier to starting a business.
Thrive20 was established to shine a spotlight on entrepreneurs whose businesses extend beyond profit margins. The leaders featured on the list prioritize making a positive impact on society, the environment, and their communities. As consumer expectations evolve, recognizing and celebrating purpose-driven enterprises becomes imperative for fostering a sustainable business ecosystem.
The entrepreneurs featured on the Thrive20 list not only excel in their respective fields but also play a significant role in promoting gender equity and diversity. Overcoming substantial challenges, they have not only funded their businesses but have also become influential voices in their industries. By acknowledging these individuals, the Thrive20 list reinforces the crucial message that success in business should not be constrained by gender.
Thrive20 is more than just a celebration; it is a testament to the power of purpose in the business world. The entrepreneurs recognized demonstrate that excellence in business and making a meaningful difference in the world are not mutually exclusive. By showcasing their achievements, Thrive20 encourages others across the business ecosystem to follow in their footsteps, fostering equity, diversity, and innovation.
The event at HSBC served as a platform to applaud these remarkable women, acknowledging their dedication to creating positive societal, environmental, and community impact. By amplifying their voices and sharing their stories, HSBC reinforces its commitment to supporting and encouraging purpose-driven entrepreneurship.
As we celebrate the achievements of the women on the Thrive20 list, we also recognise the broader impact that increased support for female-led businesses could have on the economy. If venture capital and private equity firms were to boost funding for these businesses, an additional £250 billion of value could be added to the UK economy, showcasing the untapped potential and economic benefits of investing in female entrepreneurs.
The celebration event at HSBC on 26 January marked more than just a recognition of Thrive20 entrepreneurs; it was a celebration of purpose-driven business, diversity, and innovation. By acknowledging and uplifting these remarkable women, WeAreTheCity and its partners at HSBC contribute to the ongoing narrative of breaking down barriers and building a more inclusive and equitable business landscape for future generations.
You can read more about our Thrive20 winners here and see pictures of our event below.
Congratulations once again to Anna Brailsford, Claudine Adeyemi-Adams, Elena Brook-Hart Rodríguez, Erika Brodnock MBE, Heather Glover, Indie Love Gordon, Julia Elliott Brown, Kike Oniwinde Agoro, Lyndsay Mitcheson, Martha Silcott, Pamela Aculey, Ruby Raut, Sam White, Sarah King, Stephanie Leung, Tania Boler, Victoria Jenkins and Wai Foong Ng. A huge shout out to Nicky Bentham on her Oscar nomination and Shalom Lloyd MBE on her MBE and a big thank you to Sam Cooper-Gray and Stuart White for leading this initiative to support female founders alongside WeAreTheCity.