Fund Her North joins forces with NatWest to support investment opportunities for female entrepreneurs

Alison Rose, CEO at NatWest,Alison Rose, CEO at NatWest,
Alison Rose, CEO at NatWest,
An organisation which aims to provide a long-term economic boost for the North of England by encouraging more women to become entrepreneurs has secured support from a major bank.

Fund Her North has joined forces with NatWest to support investment opportunities for female entrepreneurs in the North of England.

A spokesman said: "The collective is the first of its kind in the UK and aims to encourage more women in the North of England to apply for investments and funding to support entrepreneurship and grow female-led businesses, particularly in a post-COVID world."

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Bringing together more than 30 women from the investment industry, Fund Her North was established in October 2020 and has a combined investment power of £450million.

The strategic new partnership with NatWest was announced during a virtual event which was attended by more than 100 people. The event brought together female investment experts and business owners from across the North and highlighted how businesses can grow post-pandemic.

The collaboration also aligns with the bank’s continued work as part of the Rose Review of Female Entrepreneurship, which was published in 2019.

Alison Rose CEO at NatWest, recorded a video message especially for the event, where she said: “There has never been a more important time to get behind UK businesses and Fund Her North’s mission aligns with our commitment to help create 50,000 new jobs by 2023, 75 per cent of which will be outside of London and the South East.

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“What’s more, we want women to be at the helm of 60 per cent of these businesses, with 20 per cent of these women coming from ethnic minority backgrounds. Fund Her North will help turn this ambition into a reality and I am excited to pledge our support to the collective.”

Helen Oldham, founding board director of NorthInvest and founder of Fund her North said: “We are delighted to be working so closely with the organisation which has done so much to highlight the work required to close the gender funding gap.

“Our aspiration is to make the North of England a region that is recognised as being highly supportive of female founders at any stage of their investment journey. We can only achieve this by working collaboratively with significant organisations.”

Heather Waters, enterprise manager at NatWest, said: “The partnership with Fund Her North offers NatWest a progressive opportunity to support women across the whole of the North and encourage their enterprise and investment ambitions.

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“The Rose Review found that only 13 per cent of senior people in UK investment teams are women, while almost half of investment teams have no women whatsoever. Moreover, access to finance was found to be the number one barrier recognised by female entrepreneurs in the review, with only six per cent of teams receiving funds being all-female.

“The disparity is very clear, and NatWest remains committed to helping women overcome this barrier. It is only through commitment and collaboration that we can support the North’s economy by encouraging female business founders from all walks of life.”

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