Last week we celebrated the Invest in Women Hub with an event hosted by UBS in Manchester. Representatives from across the entrepreneurial landscape including female founders and investors came together to discuss the current landscape for entrepreneurs in Manchester and across the UK.
We opened with a fantastic keynote from Emma Wheeler, member of the Council for Investing in Female Entrepreneurs and Executive Director, Head of Women’s Wealth, UBS Global Wealth Management alongside Francis Evans, Head of Business Finance Policy at the Department for Business and Trade, who jointly introduced the audience to the Invest in Women Hub. Emma and Francis spoke about the challenges women entrepreneurs are facing to access funding, networking and mentorship opportunities, and the Invest in Women Hub’s ambition to tackle these through up-to-date resources, events and networking opportunities.
We also had an engaging and honest panel discussion, moderated by Jane Booth, Director and North West Head at UBS, with helpful advice and insight from our panellists Rohini Gupta, founder and CEO at FinregE, an automated financial regulatory compliance solution; Pinesh Mehta, Investor at Business Growth Fund (BGF); and Helen Oldham, co-founder at Lifted Ventures, an angel investor network primed to address the lack of funding going to diverse entrepreneurs outside of London and the South East.
When I was starting my business five years ago, in that starting phase, I can’t tell you what it would have meant to have access to a tool like the Hub to understand funding and incubators. It offers so much information that I was looking for, all available in one place. Now, my challenge is how to scale – how do we grow from ten to 100 customers, and what’s the right time frame for this? We’ve got the formula right, but having tools like this is invaluable.Rohini Gupta, founder and CEO at FinregE
“The first question should always be ‘what finance do you need?’. Before you even go down the investment route, make sure you’ve got to a point where you couldn’t do anything more with what you’ve got. Angel investment is typically more than just money, you’d be tapping into expertise and networks too. Be open to talking to a range of investment organisations and find out what’s right for you and your business.”Helen Oldham, co-founder at Lifted Ventures
Pinesh Mehta, Investor at Business Growth Fund (BGF) shared his guidance for those looking to start a business and thinking about investment partners: “Always leverage your network, trust your own judgement and don’t rush into things. Further down the line, when looking for an investment partner, it’s important to look beyond the five year mark and think long term. You want to find an investor who shares your objectives, so that they pull you in the right direction. It’s so important to make sure the investor you choose is bought into your plan”.Pinesh Mehta, Investor at Business Growth Fund (BGF)
“The first question should always be ‘what finance do you need?’. Before you even go down the investment route, make sure you’ve got to a point where you couldn’t do anything more with what you’ve got. Angel investment is typically more than just money, you’d be tapping into expertise and networks too. Be open to talking to a range of investment organisations and find out what’s right for you and your business.”
The Invest in Women Hub has been re-designed and updated based on feedback from founders across the UK, and collates practical resources, tools, relevant news and events to inspire and accelerate female entrepreneurship. As ever, we would welcome your feedback, suggestions or contributions.
Following the success of this launch event, we’re excited to arrange similar events across the UK in 2024. If you’re hosting an event aimed at women entrepreneurs or the wider entrepreneurial ecosystem and you want to partner with the Invest in Women Hub to share our message more widely, please do reach out and contact us.
We would also hugely appreciate your support in spreading the word about the Hub, by sharing it on LinkedIn and any other channels you have, to help us reach founders at all stages of business growth.