Women empowered to become angel investors though Scottish investment summit

Panellists at Mint Ventures Women backing Women event

WOMEN angel investment group, Mint Ventures, hosted the ‘Women Backing Women Investment Summit Scotland’ event at the Royal Bank of Scotland headquarters in Edinburgh yesterday (28 March), in collaboration with UKBAA, inspiring and empowering more women to become Angel Investors and invest in women led start-up businesses in Scotland.

More than 60 female potential and experienced angels and business owners gathered to learn and share experience of the opportunities to invest in early-stage companies in Scotland. Currently women represent just 14% of Angel Investors in the UK despite women being half of the population and growing in wealth. The event sought to educate attendees on the routes to becoming an Angel Investor, helping to achieve the Women Backing Women campaign’s mission to increase the number of Angel Investors in the UK to 30% by 2030 through education, shared experiences, good practice, and knowledge to help inform policy.

The Beauhurst Women Angel Insights report from September 2022 shows that 74% of UK Angel Investment was given to all male teams in 2022-23. With the IWC report 2023 showing that women Angel Investors make between 25-50% investments in women founders, the lack of women Angel Investors is having a detrimental impact on women led start-ups in Scotland. According to the YCF Diversity Data Report only 5.4% of total rounds of all Angel and VC funding went to female teams in 2023 in Scotland and only 10% of Women Angel Investments are made in Scotland, compared to 63% in London.

Supported by the Scottish Government Ecosystem Fund, partnering with UKBAA, Women backing Women Campaign and RBS, the event outlined the many benefits of becoming an Angel Investor which include significant tax breaks, using their business expertise, and the networking development opportunities with other successful business owners and Angel Investors. The keynote address was made by Ana Stewart, co-author of the Pathways review of Women Entrepreneurship in Scotland, who outlined her own entrepreneurial journey and how the lack of female investors available to her in the start-up stages of her business fueled her passion for helping women led start-up businesses now.

The event also gave opportunity to hear from experienced Angel Investors describing their own investment journeys such as Mary McKenna, UKBAA Angel Investor of the Year 2023 and Co-founder, Awaken Women Angels Northern Ireland; Rhona Campbell, Chair Investing Women Angels;  Tracey Rob Perera, Fractional Chief Financial Officer for Tech scaleups and Gillian Fleming, Co-founder and CEO of Mint Ventures.

The event also gave the opportunity to hear from female entrepreneurs and the challenges they experienced trying to find women angels and secure investment in the early stages of their start-ups, including Danae Shell of Valla, Rachel Curtis of Inicio AI and Alison Grieve of G-Hold. They outlined how having women angels on board has supported them to grow and expand their businesses, as well as plugging them into a further network of supportive women who have become invaluable sources of advice and guidance.

Gillian Fleming, co-founder of Mint Ventures, said: “Research has shown that women led and diverse businesses deliver more sustainability and profitability. It is our mission to educate and inform women that they too can be part of the success story by supporting more women led companies in the often over looked sectors where women are more likely to have start-up businesses.  Investment amounts can start at as little as £2,000 and with the significant tax breaks available to temper the risk it is an exciting opportunity to potentially generate some additional passive income, in addition to traditional cash savings accounts and publicly quoted stock investments . There needs to be a significant shift in the dial for women business owners to have that vulnerable support through women angels and for their shareholder base to reflect their customer base.”

Mint Ventures offer a six-month online training programme that enable women to qualify as a sophisticated investor, the regulation requirement to start Angel Investing. This cohort based program facilitates peer to peer connections and empowers members with all the knowledge and tools they should need to make educated investment decisions. A free taster course is also available. To find out more, please visit: www.mintventures.co.uk.

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