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Lifted Ventures launches northern angel network for female founders

Image credit: Lifted Ventures

Lifted Ventures, a Leeds-based angel investment network, has launched to back women-led startups in the north of England, which receive a fraction of the capital of their male counterparts.

The group was launched based on research that found female-led businesses on average generate double the revenue for each pound invested, despite receiving minimal funding.

Funding has been identified as a top barrier for women in tech and business, with the Alison Rose Review revealing that less than 1% of all venture funding goes to all-female-founded startups.

Lifted said it is building a diverse investment community for women entrepreneurs in the north of England. The group will create networks for angels and supply its capital to women-led startups.

The network has been launched by Jordan Dargue and Helen Oldham. The duo previously led the NorthInvest angel network and co-founded Fund Her North and Women Angels of the North.

“Too often the conversation focuses on disparity, gender funding gaps, barriers and challenges. Lifted Ventures is focusing on opportunity,” said Oldham, co-founder of Lifted Ventures and board member of the UK Business Angels Association.

“One of our main aims is to educate and inform investors on the proven business benefits and greater economic returns which result from supporting female-founded businesses.”

Lifted’s angel networks will include education programmes to support new investors, as well as experienced investors who need more understanding of how to back female-led businesses.

“We understand that female-led businesses and women angels need tailored pathways to ensure that they’re successful,” said Jordan, co-founder of Lifted Ventures.

“The education programmes we’re developing aim to provide investors and founders alike with the practical resources and knowledge they need to ensure success.”

The launch comes as female angel investors have faced fresh barriers in backing startups. At the end of January, a policy change from the Treasury came into effect that significantly raised the income threshold to qualify for angel investor financial promotion protections.

The policy received major backlash, as critics pointed out it would shut out thousands of women from participating in the investment community due to gender wealth disparity.

The Treasury has been consulting with lobby group Startup Coalition and other interest groups to discuss ways to mitigate harm from the changes. The lobby group has since proposed a handful of policies on the subject that it is seeking feedback on.