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Women-Led High-Growth Enterprise Taskforce calls for more investment in women-led ventures

A report by the Women-led High-Growth Enterprise Taskforce has called for more investment in female-led ventures to drive the UK’s ambitions to become a tech superpower by 2030. Advocating for significant reevaluation of investment strategies with only six per cent of high-growth enterprises being wholly or majority led by women.

The Taskforce chaired by Anne Boden, founder of Starling Bank, since it was established in May 2022, has worked with entrepreneurs, campaigning organisations, and the investment community to gather data and identify the main barriers for women in starting and scaling high growth enterprises. The Taskforce aims to identify areas for action to help increase the number of women setting up high-growth enterprises, particularly in regions outside of London.

Boden said the UK’s ambition should be to put women ‘front and centre of the tech superpower aspiration’. Women continue to receive less than two per cent of venture capital funding annually, painting a concerning picture of gender disparities in the investment landscape.

“As this report shows, the number of high-growth enterprises with at least one female founder is incredibly low and the picture is even worse for all-female teams,” says Maria Caulfield, Minister for Women. “This represents a shocking waste of talent and innovation and understanding the issues and barriers behind it was something I was particularly keen to understand.”

“We know women have the skills and ambition to launch successful businesses and we want to make sure they have every opportunity to do that. It is vital to everyone that we use this untapped potential to help boost the UK economy. I welcome the findings of the Taskforce’s work which will help us to achieve the government’s target of increasing the number of female entrepreneurs by half – equivalent to nearly 600,000
entrepreneurs – by 2030.”

In the report’s Boden concludes: “Our recommendations are ambitious, but I won’t apologise for that. Making small incremental changes won’t move the dial. We’ve been talking about this being a challenge for too long. Now we need to take big strides forward.

“Building upon the work of the Taskforce is in everyone’s interest, regardless of their gender. The timing is right, the opportunities are there, and so is the will to help female entrepreneurs succeed in growing some truly exceptional high-growth businesses. Like everyone who has worked on this report, I am excited to see what female entrepreneurs can achieve when these barriers are removed.”

Click below to read the full report.