Women's angel group

Mint Ventures to unveil first deal following launch

Gillian Fleming, centre with Carolyn Currie, left, and Lynne Cadenhead of Women’s Enterprise Scotland (pic: Terry Murden)

Mint Ventures, a women-led business angel syndicate, is close to announcing its first investment following the group’s formal launch yesterday.

Led by Gillian Fleming, an experienced start-up adviser and investor, Mint is working with the wider angel community to provide funding for female entrepreneurs who still struggle to raise early stage and growth finance.

Mint will also offer advice and support to women who want to invest as little as £2,000 by offering a comprehensive six month training programme before they make their first investment.

The 20 founding women members will focus on the critical £50k-£250k funding gap and will look beyond fashionable technology targets by seeking out growth companies in under-represented sectors such as food and drink, creative industries and retail.

All companies will need to demonstrate a social, ethical or environmental purpose and have clear ESG goals.

Malcolm Buchanan, chairman of RBS Scotland, at launch of Mint Ventures (pic: Terry Murden)

The new group has launched in response to research by partner organisation Women’s Enterprise Scotland (WES), which shows that access to finance remains the number one barrier for women starting and scaling their businesses.

Recent research shows that women start their businesses with 53% less capital than men do, ask for 30% less funding and consequently are often hugely under-capitalised from the outset, with only 14% of all capital raised going to women-led businesses. Less than 15% of the UK’s business angels are women.

Mint Ventures is being supported by LINC Scotland, UKBAA, The Royal Bank of Scotland and Par Equity. It expects to announce a maiden investment in a women-led growth company in the next few days.

Ms Fleming, CEO of Mint Ventures and one of the UKBAA’s top 20 women business angels in 2021, said: “For too long women have been under-represented and under-funded when it comes to early-stage equity investment.

“We are on a mission to change that through our educational programme to support more women to become angel investors and invest in diverse companies with purpose.”

She added: “We want to democratise angel investing and make it more accessible to women from all walks of life. You don’t have to be super wealthy to be an angel investor, our minimum investment ticket size per person is £2,000.

“We are looking forward to having more members joining our monthly networking and leadership events and to helping more women fulfil their economic potential.”

Paul Atkinson, partner and founder of Par Equity, one of Scotland’s leading business angel groups, said: “We recognise that in Scotland we have too few women angel investors and are pleased to partner with Mint Ventures as they build their membership.

“If we want to help women realise their economic potential, we have to challenge the conscious and unconscious biases which result in women-owned businesses not getting access to the business funding they need.” 

Jenny Tooth, CEO of UK Business Angels Association said: “UKBAA is delighted to see the launch of this exciting new women angel investment syndicate facilitating more women to bring their financial capacity and experience to back female founders.

“Our research has shown that key barriers for women are lack of access to knowledge and peer experience on angel investing and so it’s good to see the approach that Mint Ventures is taking to provide educational resources and mentoring support to new women Angels.”

Interview with Gillian Fleming

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