Raising Finance

Female entrepreneurs are more likely to receive business funding, but less likely to ask

2 min read

27 April 2018

Former special projects journalist

Female entrepreneurs are less likely to ask for funding, and ask for smaller amounts when they do. How can we encourage take-up?

Despite the fact that female entrepreneurs and business owners are 18% more likely to receive business funding than male business owners, they are 80% less likely to apply for it in the first place.

This is according to a study by Access Commercial Finance, which reported that only 16% of applications received since July 2016 were filed by female entrepreneurs and business owners.

To further compound the gender funding gap, when women do apply for funding they also tend to ask for less money on average than their male counterparts. Based on applications where the full amount requested was given, women received £22,162 on average, compared to £50,638 to the men.

Overall, due to the disparity in the number of applications between the two genders, £4,051,052 went to men, and only £332,437 went to women.

Matt Haycox, consultant at Access Commercial Finance, said: “This data shows us that women are on average either better at putting together a funding proposal for their small businesses, or they just have more fundable businesses. Either way, it’s potentially good news for women-owned businesses and startups.

“But given the low application rate and low funding request amount for women, men are still getting most of the cash due to sheer volume of applications.

“We hope our data gives any woman considering applying for business funding the confidence to do so.”

However, this is not exactly a new problem. A report from last year, dubbed “Untapped Unicorns: Scaling up female entrepreneurship” by the Entrepreneurs Network in partnership with Barclays, reported similar findings.

It showed that, of all the publicly announced deals in 2016, only 14% has at least one female founder, and only 9% of the amount invested in 2016 went to companies with at least one female founder.

The report also notes that there are only six economies where women show equal or higher entrepreneurship rates than men – Vietnam, Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Peru and Indonesia.

Key recommendations from the report included advice to the government to improve data collection and tracking of women’s progress, and called on female entrepreneurs to pay it forward and get involved with mentoring.