Several major banks and venture capital firms in the UK have signed up to the new Investing in Women Code, committing to support female entrepreneurs.
Developed in the wake of the findings of the Rose Review, an independent study into the challenges facing women entrepreneurs in the UK conducted by NatWest Deputy CEO Alison Rose which found that only one in three of the UK’s entrepreneurs are women and that businesses headed by women are on average half the size of those run by men, the Investing in Women Code encourages its signatories to support women entrepreneurs by helping them to access the necessary resources, funding and advice for building and maintaining a functioning business.
Alison Rose said: “When we began this process, everyone involved was in agreement that raising awareness of the Rose Review’s findings is only one small part of what is needed; what we need is action. The reaction from industry and the commitment that so many leading institutions have already shown towards the code has been fantastic and encouraging, and this is just the beginning. I’m proud that NatWest has been a leading driver behind the development of the code and I look forward to working with others who support it – it is going to make a real difference.”
Banks and finance firms which have already adopted the Investing in Women Code include:
- The Co-operative Bank;
- The Royal Bank of Scotland;
- Episode 1;
- Frontline; and
- Angel networks, including UK Business Angel Association and British Business Bank.
Exchequer Secretary Robert Jenrick said at the launch of the Investing in Women Code: “Breaking down gender barriers could add billions to the UK economy. I’m pleased to see so many of our major banks and venture capital firms support the code, and I call on others to follow suit. It’s shocking that only one in three entrepreneurs are women; and I hope that today’s commitment signals a turning point in attitudes towards investing in female-led businesses.”