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Fairer Funding Now campaign calls for greater diversity in startups gaining investment

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by Startacus Admin

Fairer Funding Now
Workspace accelerator Huckletree has launched Fairer Funding Now, a campaign calling for greater diversity among startup leaders receiving investment, after a study revealed the extent of discrimination in the funding process, with almost half of startup leaders in the UK and Ireland having experienced or known someone who has faced discrimination while seeking funding.

The Huckletree survey of over 200 startup bosses in the U.K. and Ireland shows 16% faced discrimination while seeking investment - with a further 27% reporting they know a founder who faced prejudice during the process.

Of the respondents who gave details of discrimination they had faced, 86% stated sexism, echoing the lack of investment going to female-led businesses. Just 15% of funding went to companies with a female founder in 2017 - a figure that has shown no signs of improving over the last 5 years (17% in 2016; 15% in 2015; 14% in 2014; 14% in 2013). Huckletree’s survey found that a troubling 28% of female startup leaders have experienced discrimination first-hand during the process of pitching and attending funding meetings.

Fairer Funding Now - Huckletree

Those in finance were the most likely to have experienced discrimination while raising funds, with a shocking 41% of respondents in this field saying they have experienced it. Discrimination in the technology and property sectors was also shown to be common, with 32% and 27% (respectively) of leaders stating it had happened to them.

When asked about opportunities to secure investment, there was widespread agreement that female and ethnic minority founders face challenges simply because of their gender, race or background:

  • Just 9% of women believe they have equal opportunities as men to raise funding

  • Only 17% of black startup leaders think equal opportunities exist regardless of backgroundGabriela Hersham

  • Dropping even further to 7% of leaders from Asian backgrounds

  • And 4% of leaders who identified as mixed race

On the need to end discrimination and improve diversity in funding, Gabriela Hersham, Founder and CEO of Huckletree, comments:

The fact that so much discrimination still exists lies in complete contrast to the concept of the technology and innovation ecosystems being “open to all.” The sad reality is that would-be entrepreneurs who don’t fit the stereotype often face very challenging experiences, putting them off entrepreneurship altogether. As a country, we need to rectify this with urgency.”

Founded in 2014 by Gabriela Hersham and Andrew Lynch, Huckletree’s global network of members spans four orkspace accelerator spaces and communities across London and Dublin.

If you are enthused by this campaign, you might also want to read up about:



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Published on: 5th September 2018

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