For Diversity & Inclusion month, we’ve been reflecting on our most recent analytics report published in June 2021. We wanted to share with you 3 key areas that we are focusing on and how we are looking to continuously improve going forward.
1. The number of applications we receive from female founders
Current status: One of the key findings was that out of all the applications we had received for funding, 19% had a woman on the founding team. We were surprised at this low percentage however looking at national statistics, this correlated with the number of female founders in startups raising funding nationally.
Focus: We think access to education on funding as well as funding networks is a key area where we can support to encourage more female founders to raise funding. We have recently partnered with Startup Grind to bring accessible events and workshops to founders from all backgrounds.
2. The number of female founders at our pitching events
Current status: A number of our investors are specifically looking to diversify their portfolio in terms of whom they invest in which means in some cases we will prioritise female founded businesses. In addition to this, we set ourselves a rule that we will have at least one female founder at every pitching event we run. Whilst we cannot say there is a direct correlation, we know this has made an impact. 33% of our investment portfolio companies are female founded.
Focus: We want to continue to increase the diversity of our group of investors. Not only to have more women in our group, but also investors from different cultures and walks of life which we know has an impact on the discussions we have and the investments we make as a result.
3. The data we track around diversity
Current status: Since trading we have been tracking some of the basic data around our applications and investments and have shared some of this via reports.
Focus: We understand that benchmarking of data and being held accountable is key for progressing change, so we have recently signed the Investing in Women Code initiative backed by UKBAA to collate data on the number of female founders applying for funding. By signing, we have made a commitment to work in partnership to advance female entrepreneurship in the UK.
Our hope is that by sharing our steps towards improving diversity, equity and inclusion in the investment space, however big or small, with our network, we will encourage other companies in our industry to do the same.