In just over two weeks I'll be at the very first Women Angels Of The North Investment Forum.
A collaborative event between Growth Capital Ventures, the UK Business Angels Association and NorthInvest, the entire focus is to encourage and empower more women to become angel investors in the UK by discussing the barriers currently faced.
Taking place in Leeds city centre, tickets are free and it's set to be a brilliant day for all involved.
With a huge amount happening during the day, there are five key things every attendee should expect.
1. A day of exploring the need for more women angel investors
There are two stats I love to share regularly when talking about women investors.
The first is that whilst 45% of the UK's wealth is owned by women, only 14% of angel investors in the UK are women.
The second is when a female VC backs a female-led startup, it's 21% more likely to succeed.
From these two stats alone, it's clear we need more women investing, and that the barriers can't simply be financial. Female entrepreneurs who are creating the next generation of British businesses need their investor counterparts to come forward and support them - not only will this help drive their businesses forward, but it has the potential to produce even more women angel investors.
Bringing this understanding and awareness into a room full of current and potential women angel investors, the entire day is set to be extremely informative and particularly insightful.
2. An array of speakers sharing their personal experiences of angel investing
Whilst men may dominate in the angel investing industry, there are many fabulous women in the industry and we're delighted to have some of them on our list of speakers.
At present, you can expect to hear from:
- Jenny Tooth OBE - Chief Executive, UKBAA
- Helen Oldham - Founding Board Director, NorthInvest
- Sarah Jones - Angel Investor
- Bridget Connell - Angel Investor
- Mary Walker - Partner, Gordons LLP
- Sara Palmer - Senior Equity Campaign Manager, Crowdcube
And I'm delighted to be joining the line up of speakers!
Drawing on my time in the industry to date, I'm excited to share my experience of investing into early-stage startups and how, for many new investors, it can be much more accessible than most realise.
3. A panel discussion providing an insight into the topics you want covering
There's a huge amount to discuss around the topic of supporting more women get involved in angel investing. From the routes to starting through to the on-going struggles faced, the event will play host to a varied panel to give an insight into some of the most pressing questions raised.
4. A start towards breaking down the barriers women face when becoming angel investors
One of the primary goals we want to achieve from the day is to have more women feeling confident to start making strides to becoming angel investors.
We know there are barriers we need to breakdown; hurdles we need to overcome. This isn't something that will happen overnight and we know we aren't going to see the balance between male and female angel investors evened out immediately.
But we want to start removing these barriers. We want to have every delegate realising that angel investing is a genuine possibility and understanding how to navigate around some of the difficulties.
If we can start doing this, we'll be going a long way to not just breaking down these barriers, but completely removing them.
5. An opportunity to network with over 100 other like-minded women
We're delighted with the response we've had with the event so far. It's been brilliant to see so many women interested in joining us to hear more about the possibilities and potential with angel investing (and there are still a few free tickets available if you want to join us on 12th November).
Knowing that so many positives come from open discussions, we're encouraging networking throughout the entire day. We want every attendee to leave not just feeling as though they've heard the experiences of existing angel investors or heard insights on key industry issues, but that they're part of a growing network of women who are focused on backing the next generation of British businesses with their knowledge, experience and financial backing.
With people at the event from both ends of the experience spectrum, it'll be a brilliant opportunity to make contact with a variety of like-minded individuals.
Join us on Monday 12th November
Taking place at The Queens hotel in Leeds city centre, it would be a pleasure to have you join us for the day.