Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is investing in Scotland’s first women-focused network designed to encourage more female angel investors and entrepreneurs.
Investing Women is being launched in the region tomorrow (Thursday June 5). The ground breaking project has been founded by businesswoman Jackie Waring to tap into an internationally growing community of women angel investors, women entrepreneurs seeking growth, as well as being open to those of either sex who want to invest or offer support.
As Scotland’s first and only network for women angel investors and growth entrepreneurs, the event will give both potential and existing investors and female entrepreneurs within Highlands and Islands growth businesses more information about Investing Women and the opportunities for connection, investment and growth.
Jackie will share Investing Women’s exciting vision and invite participation in future Investing Women programmes and activities, including announcing the Catalyst programme which will run later in the year.
She commented: “Investing Women members will generate significant new seed and early stage investment where it’s most needed. There are no shortage of innovators and entrepreneurs in Scotland. In the Highlands and Islands we know there are both many talented professional and businesswomen with the capacity to become angel investors and increasing opportunities for innovative entrepreneurs as the economy recovers. We want to help accelerate the growth of more of them to realise their market potential.
“This is a wonderful opportunity to increase the funds available for investment in Scottish innovation and we at Investing Women are tremendously excited to be running the very first Highlands Catalyst programme later in the year; unlocking great potential by helping more women get into this space.”
Jackie has modelled the organisation on the successful USA angel practice in order to speed up the growth of female participation in the Scottish angel community. Although women currently hold 46% of the UK’s top wealth, only 2% of Scottish angels are women.
In the USA, 22% of angel investors are female with mounting evidence that this is also stimulating more growth amongst women-led companies. The Catalyst Programme has also been based on US models where bringing women angels and entrepreneurs together to learn has boosted female participation in investment; both as investors and women entrepreneurs accessing equity for growth.
Stephanie Anderson, Development Manager for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at HIE commented: “Highlands and Islands Enterprise is delighted to be positively supporting Investing Women to roll out across the Highlands and Islands. There are many exciting businesses in the region led by female entrepreneurs or with dynamic and capable women in leadership roles. These businesses would benefit from greater early stage investment, combined with a stronger network of connections, mentoring and support which accessing external finance can bring.
There are also successful, experienced women in a position to lend their skills and some financing to young, growing companies. Investing Women brings ambitious people together to share their knowledge and experience.”
Investing Women also have strong international collaboration. Susan Preston, America’s ‘First Lady’ of women angels, headlined Investing Women’s inaugural events in Edinburgh in autumn last year.
Susan has added her support to Investing Women. “Having led the USA's first women angel group, I am delighted to have been involved in Investing Women’s pioneering vision in Scotland and hope to return to support Jackie and her team in their exciting progress in the near future. I am thrilled that Investing Women are already expanding across Scotland. This can only be good; not just for women in Scotland but for business and the economy.”