100 companies take part in Female Founders Accelerator programme

Elizabeth Pirrie, CEO of AccelerateHER

A NEW programme supporting innovative, female-led technology businesses has been launched with 100 participants from across the UK. The Female Founders Accelerator, powered by Barclays Eagle Labs and funded by the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology, is being delivered by Scottish-based AccelerateHER and will run over nine weeks. 

There was intense interest in the programme, which received nearly three applicants for every available space. The 100 selected company founders are from technology-led businesses based in all corners of the UK covering a broad range of sectors including healthcare, education, food, and finance.   

The Accelerator programme invited applications from female founders whose businesses are registered in the UK and are currently trading or ready to bring their product or proposition to market with an eye on future investment to help scale operations.

Selected participants will work with experts from across the entrepreneurial landscape in a series of masterclasses with the focus of further developing their businesses. With direct support from a Barclays ‘champion,’ the programme also includes one-to-one mentoring opportunities, exclusive accountability groups, and in-person community networking events being held in London and Glasgow. The Accelerator will culminate with a showcase event in Manchester in March where selected participants’ will pitch their companies to an audience of investors.

As programme delivery partners, AccelerateHER will further leverage its experience and expertise as an organisation centred on accelerating growth for female founded businesses. Angel investors from its sister company Investing Women Angels will also provide mentoring support to the programme’s participants and offer advice on how to pitch for investment. 

Elizabeth Pirrie, CEO of AccelerateHER, said: “We’re delighted to be once again working in partnership with Barclays Eagle Labs to deliver this new, UK Government-funded programme aimed at bolstering female-founded businesses.

“Interest in the Female Founders Accelerator has been overwhelming with over 250 applicants for the initial 100 places available. We will now focus on supporting the participating founders in further developing their business proposition and their own leadership skills. We have a proud history of providing support and mentoring that has helped female-led companies thrive and we look forward to delivering those outcomes through this new programme.” 

Amanda Allan, Director of Barclays Eagle Labs said: “We are proud to continue our support for female founders who want to advance their ambition to grow their technology businesses.  

“The digital-tech economy needs more female founders and this programme, via AccelerateHER, is a great way for us to support achieving that ambition.  It’s also very encouraging to see the number of female founders that applied for the programme. Women are clearly looking to entrepreneurship in the digital-tech sector, so this kind of support is vital to level the playing field.”

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