HM Treasury has today updated the Women in Finance charter which aims to support the progression of women into senior roles in the financial services sector. The charter, signed by some of the biggest names in business, is a positive step towards achieving equality. In fact, last week it was announced that around a third of the top jobs in the UK’s biggest firms are now filled by women.
One area of business and the economy that does seem to lag behind is the start-up and scale-up community. Fewer than one in five of the UK’s SMEs are led by women and only around 11% of unicorns (privately owned start-ups worth over $1 billion) were founded by women. The reasons behind this are multiple but female founders are not helped by just 9% of U.K. start-up funding going to women-run businesses – as per a 2019 report.
The Women in Finance charter undoubtedly takes a step in the right direction to help achieve equality but what we cannot afford to ignore is the grass-roots of business. Optimum productivity across our private sector can only be secured by utilising the full capacity of this nation’s diverse talent pool. Failing to do so will only impede the growth and success of our economy, with up to 50% of the potential and subsequent productivity being restricted.
Helping the ambitious eco-system of female founders that exists in the UK to achieve their potential will be hugely important to getting to the point of true equality in the world of business and investment, not only this, it also opens up a range of new potential investment opportunities for the future. The skills and experience gained at this level will have a marked impact on the number of women at the very top level.
The SME arena contributed £1.9 trillion to the UK’s economy in 2017 and so making sure that it has the widest possible pool of talent to draw from is vital. As the backbone of the private sector, they will be a huge factor in determining the success of Brexit and onwards. Encouraging investment into female-founded businesses is clearly something that must be improved upon through legislation as well as fostering an environment in which women feel that they have the support and resources available to start businesses.
Here at IW Capital, we’ve been investing in private equity for a number of years. With an executive team with more than 50 years’ collective experience and a varied portfolio of investments, we’re confident we have the skills and experience to help should you want to start or grow your private equity portfolio.
If you would like to find out more about the services we offer, contact a member of the team to find out how we can help.