MINT Ventures, a women-led business angel group, yesterday (Wednesday 1st December) formally launched its investment activities as it works to finalise its first involvement in a Scottish women-led growth company.
The new investment group has launched in response to research by its 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 per cent less capital than men do, ask for 30 per cent less funding and consequently are often hugely under-capitalised from the outset, with only 14 per cent of all capital raised going to women-led businesses. Less than 15 per cent of the UK’s business angels are estimated to be women.
Mint Ventures’ CEO, Gillian Fleming, an experienced start-up adviser and investor, 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.”
Working closely with the wider angel community in Scotland, Mint Ventures will provide a comprehensive educational, development and networking programme for its women members allowing them to train for six months to qualify before they make their first investment.
The 20 founding women members of the group will focus their investments in the critical £50-£250k funding gap, investing in the under-represented sectors including creative industries, retail and food and drink, which are often are of more interest to women. As a core part of the Mint Ventures’ investment thesis, all companies will need to demonstrate a social, ethical or environmental purpose and have clear ESG goals.
Mint Ventures is being supported by LINC Scotland, UKBAA, The Royal Bank of Scotland and Par Equity.
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 OBE, 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.”
Gillian Fleming concluded: “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.”
For further information about Mint Ventures, please contact Gillian Fleming on 07776 132901 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information about Women’s Enterprise Scotland, please contact Gaynor Simpson on 07790 104073 or email email@example.com.
Notes for editors:
- Mint Ventures was established in 2019 as a women-led business angel investment group to offer a fresh approach to investing by providing Social, Human and Economic (SHE) Capital for women entrepreneurs and companies with gender-balanced executive teams or boards.
- A free, 90-minute introductory course to angel investing for women investors is available at www.mintventures.co.uk
- Mint Ventures will provide support and training for its members on areas such as tax benefits, due diligence, strategic leadership and board governance skills for scaling start-up companies.
- Women’s Enterprise Scotland (WES) was established in 2011 as a not-for-profit Community Interest Company (CIC) which focuses on the contribution women’s enterprise makes to the Scottish economy. As an expert body, WES advises and informs external partners and advocates for gender-specific enterprise support. The organisation seeks to influence policy-makers and opinion formers to recognise the significant contribution women-led businesses could make to the Scottish economy.
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