The case for investing in diverse founders, by Gail McManus, Founder of PER

20 April 2021 | Gail McManus, Managing Director

 

Investing in underrepresented founders makes sound commercial sense.  It is an opportunity to be aligned with the ideas and needs of consumers of all genders, ethnicities and underrepresented backgrounds. Diversity of thought comes from embracing the ideas generated by people from a wide range of backgrounds.

PER was delighted to sponsor the BVCA’s Diversity webinar on Wednesday 21st April at  where this issue was explored by an expert panel of founders and investors.

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As a female founder, this is an issue close to my heart. I set up PER following a decade-long career in private equity where I became aware of the challenges that face women building businesses. Over the last twenty years, I have been committed to promoting diversity and inclusion within our industry, spanning not only gender but underrepresented ethnicities and socioeconomic backgrounds.

My perspective and my experiences as a female founder have shaped PER’s values and contributed to its success.

I have brought together some reading to provide further background for Wednesday’s discussion. I hope you find these useful and would encourage you to get in touch if you would like to discuss the issue of investing in diverse founders further following Wednesday’s event.

UK VC & FEMALE FOUNDERS

A report by the British Business Bank in collaboration with Diversity VC & BVCA

Commissioned by then Chancellor, Phillip Hammond at Budget 2017 and published in 2019, this report revealed that for every £1 of venture capital investment in the UK, all-female founder teams receive less than 1p, all-male founder teams receive 89p and mixed-gender teams receive 10p

 

THE BLACK REPORT

Produced by 10 X 10 in partnership with Google for Startups

A testament to the positive impact black entrepreneurs have on the UK economy, this report also highlights their struggle to secure investment, with 45% of black founders starting their businesses without outside investment and 22% relying on funds raised through friends and family

 

THE STATUS QUO LEAVES MINORITY FOUNDERS FENDING FOR THEMSELVES

Article by Amy Lewin, published by Sifted, a new-media site for Europe’s innovators and Entrepreneurs, 25 May 2020

Based on the Extended Ventures and YSYS report, The Impact of COVID-19 on Diverse Founders, Amy Lewin explores the availability of data on investment in diverse founders and the action being taken to change the status quo  

 

DIVERSITY & INCLUSION SURVEY 2021

Produced by the BVCA and Level 20

The first detailed report of its kind on ethnicity in UK private equity and venture capital revealed that 54% of firms have all-white investment teams and just 3% of respondents who gave a self-declaration of ethnicity are Black/African/Caribbean

 

GUIDANCE AND BEST PRACTICE EXAMPLES FOR VCS, PRIVATE EQUITY AND INSTITUTIONAL INVESTORS WITH REGARD TO DIVERSITY & FEMALE ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Produced by the BVCA and Co-authored by Adelpha, Astia, Atomico, KPMG and Pollen Street

Advice from leading investors and professionals within the venture community for maximising access to diverse deal flow. The guide includes best practice process across talent acquisition, retention and development, internal education, culture and policy, investment bias and portfolio guidance and management

 

Please get in touch if you found these resources useful and would like to discuss further. Additionally, let me know if you hear of other reports or initiatives not included here.

About the author

Gail is the Managing Director and founder of PER, setting up the business in the late 1990s after a career in private equity at 3i.

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