In the UK alone the statistics are dismal: 25% of pitch decks received by VCs include one or more women founders, 17% of investments went to startups with one or more women founders, and only 11% of investment value went to teams with one or more women founders.
Perhaps put more bluntly, commenting on the release of NGP Capital’s “The outsized role of gender in European venture funding” report Tech.eu founding editor Robin Wauters summarised, “if you're a female startup founder, fat chance raising venture funding in Europe”.
And despite generating more than twice as much revenue per-dollar invested when compared to male-founded companies, female-founded companies continue to receive the lowest share of investment in the EU.
“Even if the UK were to achieve the same average share of women entrepreneurs as best-in-class peer countries, this would add £200 billion of new value to the UK economy.”
Based on the premise put forth by Group Chief Executive Officer of NatWest Group Alison Rose, Dr. Amber Ghaddar and Bridget Greenwood are launching The 200 Billion Club to help female entrepreneurs navigate the process of pitching and fundraising. Focusing on Stage 1 (deal flow) and Stage 2 (pitch) aspects of the investment process, the initiative seeks to help female entrepreneurs achieve pitch perfection at the conclusion of its 12-week programme, where they’ll present to some 40+ VCs all ready, willing, and able to invest.
“Having gone through the process, I’ve discovered that most accelerators focus on networking and take equity, without any guarantee of investment. There’s no doubt networking is important, but without the money to get started or scale, it is meaningless,” commented Ghaddar. “This is why, with the help of our VCs and corporate partners, we are backing women to adapt, conquer and change existing paradigms within private equity financing."
For five hours a week, female entrepreneurs will receive coaching and feedback from 43 VCs, who represent a staggering £900 billion in assets under management, with legal, IP, and regulations courses and training provided by CMS Law, Mischon and others.
A unique feature of the programme, a weekly mock pitch process will garner commentary from mentors as to why they would not invest in a startup. This allows participants to quickly iterate on their pitches and business model, but also gives these 43 VCs a direct line to emerging talent.
Edel Coen, head of dealflow at Molten Ventures concluded, "As VCs, we are in the privileged position of making investments that have a real impact on the world we live in. But I believe we can do more to find and invest in founders that reflect our diverse society. Addressing female under-representation not only makes business sense but will also enable the next generation of founders to see themselves in the tech leaders of today. Partnering with The 200 Billion Club can help us shape a new generation of female leaders."
Lead Photo: Dan Taylor