Last week we hosted FinTechCityWomen, a group involved in London’s growing FinTech sector to discuss what steps could be taken to help female founders access funding.
The discussions were led by Susan Sternglass Noble and Francesca Tondi Guy, both of whom have many years of experience working in financial services and entrepreneurship since, as well as being NEDs they are both are angel investors. While we came to the conclusion there is no silver bullet to the issue of funding for female entrepreneurs, I came away filled with optimism about the future.
Multiple studies show that more women than ever are looking to entrepreneurship, and are building interesting businesses. We heard some great stories from Founders Factory and Anthemis about the number of talented female founders they encounter and support through investment. By foregoing the tried and tested (old boy) networks, and reaching out directly and specifically to women, it is possible to find female founders and provide them with the support, mentoring and backing they need to succeed.
We were also joined by Priyanka Lilaramani, founder/CEO of Plinth, one of our CMS equIP #LeadHers member who shared her experiences as a female founder and urged that instilling mindset change needs to start as early as school years. Clare Black from Innovate Finance shared about their programme – FinTech for Schools which aims to inspire the next generation.
You could almost argue there has never been a better time to be a female founder given the variety of support available. Examples include Accenture’s FinTech Innovation Lab which, while a mixed programme, has recently received 40% female applicants for their 2020 intake. Further, Innovate Finance is looking to play a role in supporting women working within FinTech by launching a mentoring programme for female founders. As to funding, organisations like Angel Academe and FinTech Circle offer early stage founders a real alternative to VCs by providing access to angel investment.
Through our leading start-up programme CMS equIP, we are actively looking to support more women led start-up businesses. So if you are a female founder of a tech start-up or know one, please get in touch so we can discuss how we can support you.