Female entrepreneurs and the investors who back them get a boost today with the launch of a new regulated platform called AllBright. The minimum investment is £500 and the focus will be on businesses that qualify for the Enterprise and Seed Enterprise Investment Schemes (EIS and SEIS)
"Exceptional women will change the world" says the company's manifesto.
Investing in women makes economic sense.
"All the research shows that companies with women in leadership positions deliver greater returns, yet the majority of funding is directed at male-led companies. We plan to address this imbalance."
According to Business Zone, AllBright bring together a crowdfunding platform, an angel network, and an academy, with the aim of “making the UK the best place in the world to be a female entrepreneur”. The interview with founder Debbie Wosskow is good overview of what she wants to do to help close the funding gap for firms run by women.
If you find her arguments persuasive, check out the advice to prospective investors on the AllBright site, and the risk warning.
Debbie Wosskow is a serial entrepreneur from Sheffield, whose best-known business is Love Home Swap. She is also an expert on the 'Sharing Economy' and wrote the government's 60,000-word independent report, Unlocking the Sharing Economy. This profile of her in Startups.co.uk tells her story from childhood to OBE.
Ms Wosskow says she doesn't want AllBright to be a tech fund or a media fund. She points to recent research sponsored by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) and Facebook, that which showed that if every woman who wanted to run her own business was able to do so, the impact could create 425,000 additional jobs and potentially add £10.1 billion to the British economy.
She will be joined in the new venture by Anna Jones, who is to step down from her role at Hearst Magazines UK, where she has been CEO for the last five years. Prominent angel investor Sherry Coutu (LinkedIn, Zoopla) will sit on the fund's advisory board. (The Fintech expert and founder of the LendIt conference, Dara Albright, is not involved. )