Closing the Gender Funding Gap

At BFS, we’re not just committed to inclusion and diversity, we’re hugely passionate about it. According to the World Bank, despite women making up almost half of the population, female-owned entities represent just over thirty percent of formal, registered businesses worldwide. Furthermore, our own research shows that almost half of women-led businesses find accessing finance more difficult than their male counterparts.

Not only is the gender funding gap wrong for society, it’s also a missed growth opportunity for economies around the world. In fact, according to the Rose Review, more than £250bn in total value could be added to the UK economy if women matched men in starting and scaling businesses.

Our commitment

For these reasons, working closely with a number of chosen partners, we have launched our Closing the Gender Funding Gap initiative to do what we can to support women-owned businesses. Our purpose is three-fold:

  1. To work with likeminded partners to create support networks for female entrepreneurs;
  2. To support financial literacy and education for women who want to create businesses; and
  3. To enable more female-founded businesses to access the funding they need to grow and thrive.

The gender funding gap in numbers

  • According to the Rose Review 35% of women don’t have sufficient savings/finances to launch a business
  • Data from the British Business Bank’s Small Business Equity Tracker 2023 shows that just 2p for every £1 of equity investment is directed towards women-led enterprises
  • Our SME Confidence Tracker shows that 48% of female founders find it harder to secure external finance than male-owned businesses and 51% say it’s more difficult to access finance in 2024 than a year earlier
Lucile Flamand
“There are many reasons behind this inequality of funding. Chief among these is a lack of financial education, and a lack of allies and developed networks for women-led SMEs. The financial services industry has a key role to play. Providers must make the effort to ensure appropriate resources are available for women-run small businesses. They also need to better understand the challenges that stand in the way of these companies and take action to improve equity in funding for these businesses.”

Lucile Flamand,
Chief Strategic Development Officer and Head of Closing the Gender Funding Gap Taskforce, Bibby Financial Services

Our partners

We are working with Female Founder Finance to develop our communication to and business model for female business owners, to ensure that they have the understanding and access to funding options to help them succeed. Over 2024 and beyond, we will be seeking to network and partner with other organisations with the same aspirations to grow the support we are able to offer.

Our support

We are actively seeking to grow our funding provision to female founders and owners. With over 40 years’ experience of providing finance to SMEs across a wide range of sectors, we have successfully supported a wide range of female leaders to develop and grow their businesses.

An example of our support is our long standing client, Veromia. You can hear from Vivian in this video:

How to get involved

If you’re a female business owner looking for funding, an organisation looking for likeminded partners to work with or you would like to learn more, please get in touch with us at: contactus@bibbyfinancialservices.com