Collective partners with bank to support female entrepreneurship

Alison Rose, CEO at NatWest
X The Business Desk

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Fund Her North, a regional volunteer collective based in the North of England, has partnered with NatWest to support investment opportunities for female entrepreneurs in Yorkshire and the wider North of England.

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.

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, as well as s demonstrated history of investing more than £75million in female-led start-up businesses.

The strategic new partnership with NatWest is part of the bank’s purpose-led strategy, which aims to support enterprise funding post-Covid-19. 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 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.

“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.

“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.”