Closing the investment gender gap

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When someone mentions the ‘gender gap’, what pops to mind? The gender pay gap, or the gap in female executive positions or on FTSE boards? There’s also a gender gap in funding for start-ups, and we explored how angel investing can close the gap at an IWF UK event on 5 May with speaker Sarah Turner, co-founder and CEO of Angel Academe.

Sarah is on a mission to introduce more women to angel investing, in particular investments in female-founded tech start-ups with high growth potential. She provided insights based on decades of experience and shared her ‘10 Rules on Angel Investing’, golden nuggets she compiled during her years of discovery.

Despite women owning 48% of UK wealth, we are under represented in angel investing. In 2019, only 14% of UK angel investors were women and only 9% of investments went to teams with a female founder. Less than 1% of those went to women-only businesses. One bright spot is that women are three times more likely to invest in female-founded businesses, and this became the genesis of Angel Academe.

Sarah did not give any specific investment advice or reveal the next ‘unicorn’ but she offered sound guidance for those who are financially secure and prepared to diversify their portfolio. Top tips included: find your tribe; manage your risk; and look for scalability, good margins and exit potential in investments.

  • She recommended investing in teams and things you understand and offered tips how to stay informed and add value to make your investment a profitable one. She advised seeing these investments as ‘patient capital’ and embracing your inner entrepreneur when doing so to make fun!
  • Diversify your angel portfolio - aim for 10 or 20 investments (2-3 per year) to improve the chances of a good return. “Once you start, it really is quite addictive and you get better with experience!" she said.

For more information about Sarah and Angel Academe check out

Kathryn Pretzel-Shiels

To watch a recording of this event click here to be directed to the Members only section of the website and find it within the event write up in Members News (Rightside menu bar).

Angel Investing with Sarah Turner

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