Shoosmiths sponsors The Gender Index

Leading UK law firm Shoosmiths has sponsored the 2022 Gender Index report, with findings demonstrating that female-founders obtain disproportionately less investment compared to male-owned companies.

The Gender Index's (TGI) ambition is to help create a more equal future by providing a clear and accurate picture of the disparity between male and female led businesses, by benchmarking the current level of activity undertaken by companies across the UK which are owned or led by female founders.

Powered by artificial intelligence data provider mnAI, TGI shows that while there are more females starting companies than ever before – with 145,200 new companies last year. However, female led companies make up only one in six of the UK’s 4.4 million active companies.

The TGI report found that the UK average for the percentage of investments that go to female-led companies is 11.9%, disproportionately low compared to the percentage of male led companies. It also found that for female-led companies, the overwhelming majority of identified investments were made by angel investors with the UK average at 83.8% rather than through venture capital funds. The regions with the highest percentage of high-growth female-led companies are Wales and Scotland, both at 12%, compared to 8.5% in the rest of the UK.

Through supporting TGI, Shoosmiths aims to play its part in building a more detailed picture of where there are gender gaps and improve the quality of data and analysis available, to foster greater gender equality in the access to funding for female founded business throughout their life cycle. The sponsorship builds upon Shoosmiths’ spHERe network, supporting female founders and venture capitalists within the venture capital (VC) space.

Helen Burnell, corporate principal associate and head of the Shoosmiths’ spHERe network, said: “Our partnership with The Gender Index is the next step in addressing wider disparity across the UK – raising awareness of the inequality between male and female led businesses in order to start a dialogue to action real change.

“A key factor to understanding and addressing the funding gap for female founded and led companies is the data that sits behind the deals. The data collected is often paid for access only, a one-off study or based on a small sample size which is uncomprehensive across funding life cycle of a business or across the UK. By bringing together influencers in academia, private sector, public sector and retail banking, the Gender Index and its steering group will be a game changer – something that Shoosmiths is very proud to support.”

To find out more about The Gender Index, click here.


This information is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before acting on any of the information given. Please contact us for specific advice on your circumstances. © Shoosmiths LLP 2024.



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