Women-led angel group Mint Ventures has received funding from Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Government’s Scottish Technology Ecosystem Fund (STEF) for a series of roadshows to encourage more women to become angel investors, and help women-led companies access investment.

Just last week the Rose Review 2022 of Female Entrepreneurship confirmed access to finance remains the no.1 barrier for women starting and growing businesses. In response, the UK Business Angels Association (UKBAA) established a UK-wide Women Business Angel Taskforce, of which Mint Ventures is a founding member.

Mint Ventures’ roadshows are part of a new programme of UK events called ‘Women Backing Women’. This transformational initiative will tap into the collective power, expertise and financial capital of women to help other women start and grow their businesses.

Taking place throughout March and April in Aberdeen, Dundee, Glasgow, St Andrews, Edinburgh and the Borders, and collaborating with several Scottish business angel groups, the events offer potential women investors and entrepreneurs an opportunity to learn about angel investment, ask questions and be inspired in a safe-space environment.

Launched in 2021, and borne out of the research of Women’s Enterprise Scotland, Mint Ventures was set up to address inequalities in the UK investor and investee landscape, for example:

  • Women hold more than half the UK’s wealth but make up just 14% of business angel investors
  • Women start their businesses with 53% less capital than men
  • Only 14% of all capital raised goes to women-led businesses
  • Women are 50% less likely to receive venture capital funding
  • Only 1% of venture capital raised goes to women-led businesses

Part of Mint Ventures’ mission is to democratise angel investing for both men and women, who can become investors for as little as £2,000 per annum. Gillian Fleming, CEO said: “This funding will help us reach even more women who are either looking to become investors or seeking investment for their companies. The barriers to women becoming angel investors are cultural, not financial. Women clearly have the wealth and business skills, but they often don’t have access to the same networks as men.”

Victoria Carmichael, Director of Strategic Investment at Scottish Enterprise, said: “Mint Ventures is challenging perceptions of who can be an investor and democratising access to these opportunities. Its focus on investing in women-led companies or those with diverse leadership teams is not only a values-led approach, it makes great business sense. We know that diversity of thought is key to business innovation and success, making such companies much more likely to thrive and grow.”

Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Economy, Kate Forbes, said: “Encouraging more women to become angel investors and, in turn, helping women-led businesses access vital investment, will give more women the resources they need to grow their businesses.

“It is clear that, collectively, we must do more to address the gender gap in business participation in Scotland. That is why organisations such as Mint Ventures are critical to our tech and wider entrepreneurial ecosystems. It is also why I have committed funding of £50m over the course of this parliament to support more women in enterprise, and I have commissioned experienced entrepreneur and investor, Ana Stewart to lead a short-term review of how best to target that support and help more women realise their business ambitions.”

Jenny Tooth OBE, Executive Chair of UKBAA, said: “Currently less than 20% of the angel investment community are women, whilst we know that women make between 30-50% of their investments in female founders. The new ‘Women Backing Women’ campaign established under the Rose Review is seeking to encourage many more women across the UK to recognise the opportunity to become active angel investors.”

Find out more about the funding options from Scottish Enterprise