Mint Ventures funding backs investment roadshow
Mint Ventures, a women-led angel group, has received funding from Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Government for a series of regional roadshows to encourage more females to become angel investors and access investment.
It is one of a number of initiatives being lined up to support women’s enterprise, including a review launched by Finance Secretary Kate Forbes and led by entrepreneur and investor, Ana Stewart.
The Rose Review 2022 of Female Entrepreneurship has confirmed that access to finance remains the number one barrier for women starting and growing their businesses.
In response, the UK Business Angels Association (UKBAA) has established a UK-wide Women Business Angel Taskforce, of which Mint Ventures is a founding member.
The Women Backing Women roadshows are part of a new programme of events across the UK to spread awareness of business angel investing for women.
They are taking place in March and April in Aberdeen, Borders, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow and St Andrews in collaboration with other business angel groups.
Launched in 2021, and borne out of the research of Women’s Enterprise Scotland, Mint Ventures is a business angel network investing in women-led and diverse companies. It was set up to address inequalities in the investor and investee landscape.
Part of Mint Ventures’ mission is to democratise angel investing and make it more accessible. Membership is open to men and women, who can become investors for as little as £2,000 per annum.
Gillian Fleming, CEO of Mint Ventures 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.
“With International Women’s Day having just taken place, there’s never been a better time to highlight this. Mint Ventures’ focus on investing in women-led companies or those with diverse leadership teams is not only a values-led approach, it also 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.”
Finance and the Economy Secretary, 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.
“I am pleased that the Scottish Government’s Ecosystem Fund, in connection with the Scottish Technology Ecosystem Review, is able to support an expansion of Mint Ventures’ activity in this important area.
“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 £50 million 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, executive chair of UKBAA, said fewer than 20% of the angel investment community are women.
“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.”