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UBS was an early supporter of the Alison Rose Review and member of the Council for Investing in Female Entrepreneurs. We were involved with other like-minded partners in creating the Invest in Women Hub with the vision that it would become a unique resource to help women entrepreneurs.

For me personally, following my introduction to the shocking statistics outlined in the 2019 Rose Review paper, I shared these with our Chief Investment Office at UBS who in turn published a report called The Funding Gap: Investors and Female Entrepreneurs, outlining the economic case for investing in female entrepreneurs. The report found that female-led businesses typically outperform male-led businesses, but they only receive 3% of venture capital funding globally. This figure is startling, and we realised that we needed to do more to help close the funding gap.

Along with UBS Next, the firm’s venture and innovation unit, we launched the UBS Female Founder Award in 2021, which we’ve now expanded, to spotlight women in the fields of financial and enterprise technology. We were overwhelmed with the calibre of applicants and the innovative companies they’d created made us realize that we were on the right track. The global award is in its second year and we’ve so far named two great founders from the UK as winners, Kimberly Abbott, CEO of Vested Impact, and Danielle Lawrence, Founder and CEO at Freyda.

Supporting the founders post the award is paramount and Danielle, as well as others shortlisted for 2022’s award, will go on to join global accelerator program, Project Female Founder, a year-long investor readiness, networking, and mentorship program created by UBS, that arms women entrepreneurs with fundamentals to help them access aligned capital. 

Women are more educated, more successful, and more outspoken than ever before and I’m thankful that through the Invest in Women hub and other initiatives, we’re helping to drive inclusive growth that will lead to better outcomes for all.

Emma Wheeler is Head of Women’s Wealth, UBS Global Wealth Management