Just two per cent of venture capital (VC) money went to all-female founding teams in Europe in 2018, while in the UK, for every £1 of VC investment, all-female founder teams get less than 1p. Professor Simonetta Manfredi from the Centre for Diversity Research Policy and Practice (CDPRP) at Oxford Brookes University attributes this low investment in women-led companies because they are only a small minority to begin with, and because the majority of venture capitalists are male, with females making up just 13 per cent of VC decision-makers in the UK, creating an unconscious biases.
Merian Ventures is one example of a US and UK VC firm that funds female-led businesses, specifically in artificial intelligence and consumer-facing technology companies. Its founder, Alexsis de Raadt St James, believes VC firms and investors have a role to play in levelling the playing field, and it’s beneficial to everyone. Aside from VCs, there are other paths to funding including university incubators, commercial firms with links to universities, and crowd-funding., which Priya Guha, venture partner at Merian Ventures, says can be used “very effectively” to get traction in a large market by publicity.Read More