Monday 29 June 2020 12:00 am

Innvotec launches fund for female-founded businesses in bid to ‘level the playing field’

Alternative investment fund manager Innvotec has launched a new fund to invest exclusively in female-founded enterprises, in a bid to tackle the gender funding gap in business.

Innvotec, one of London’s longest established independent fund managers, today announced the launch of its Female Ventures Fund (FVF) to invest in early-stage businesses founded or co-founded by women. The fund will provide initial capital for female-led businesses, in addition to further financial and advisory support for a 10-12 year period.

Read more: Dwindling number of female chiefs as Card Factory boss leaves

The seed enterprise investment scheme (SEIS) fund will also look to encourage more women into the venture capital space, focusing on retail investors and high-net worth individuals. 

“For every £1 of venture capital investment in the UK, all-female founder teams get less than 1p, while all-male founder teams get 89p,” said Lesley Gregory, chair of the FVF’s advisory board.

“This statistic is not new and yet it is, nevertheless, staggering to me… it must be addressed. In my profession, I come across a wide range of female entrepreneurs who have solid business models and yet don’t receive the funding they need. We want to change that.”

The FVF’s portfolio will feature businesses from a wide range of sectors, and will initially be comprised of companies from Innvotec’s existing raft of businesses, including The Worldness, an ecommerce platform helping retailers get back in their feet after the coronavirus crisis, Compare Ethics, a marketplace for sustainable fashion brands, and Green Sea Guard, a shipping emissions monitoring system.

Read more: Surge in female SME owners as gender gap narrows

Amir Kazmi, chief executive of Innvotec, said: ““We’re extremely pleased to launch this fund with such a prestigious advisory board… The fund is very well-positioned to assist growth in the medium to long term by providing expert advice alongside new equity. 

“The objective is to maximise returns, achieving significant capital gains across the portfolio and, ultimately, make a positive, measurable social impact.”

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