Social bias against women affects funding for entrepreneurs

Social bias against female entrepreneurs is causing issues when finding funding, say panel at TLA Women’s Group event

A social bias against female entrepreneurs is holding women back, according to a female panel at an event organised by Tech London Advocates (TLA) Women's Group and Pivotal Innovations recently.

Held at Level39 the 'Finance for Female Entrepreneurs: Challenges and Opportunities' event investigated social biasness towards female entrepreneurs and highlighted the funding available in London.

Bindi Karia, vice-president of Silicon Valley Bank, said: “It’s a lonely journey being an entrepreneur. It’s about getting into the right incubator to open the right doors.

“The best ideas and the best models get the money – it doesn’t matter if you are male or female. The investors will follow the best ideas. If it’s a good business and robust then we don’t’ care if you’re male or female.”

However, Dale Murray, non-executive director, UKTI, said finding an Angel Investor can be more of a challenge: “In banking there doesn’t seem to be any bias, but in Angel the world it is rife.

“You will get questions about your status and age and they will wonder whether you have the guts to take it through or if you will have to step out for personal reasons part way through.”

Jenny Tooth, CEO of UK Business Angels Association, said: “Women can be reluctant to ask for money they want or really need, whereas men will overvalue.

“You shouldn’t be afraid to go for significant funds and to not be afraid to grow your business.”

Women in London Tech Group, part of Tech London Advocates, is led by Sarah Luxford and Nikki Watkins of European Leaders.

The group was formed to support, develop and promote the benefits of a diverse workforce and address the lack of females in the tech sector.

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