Mint Ventures is part of a series of roadshows taking place across Scotland, providing insights into angel investing for potential women investors and entrepreneurs alike. The aim is to encourage more women to consider angel investment as a way of supporting women-led and diverse companies to grow and scale.
Mint Ventures’ CEO Gillian Fleming, one of the UKBAA’s top 20 women business angels in 2021, said: “For too long women have been under-represented and under-funded when it comes to early-stage equity investment. We are on a mission to change that through our educational programme, which will support more women to become angel investors and to invest in diverse companies with purpose.”
Mint Ventures launched at the end of 2021, in response to research by its partner organisation Women’s Enterprise Scotland (WES), which shows that access to finance remains the number one barrier for women starting and scaling their businesses.
Recent research shows that women start their businesses with 53% less capital than men do, and consequently are often hugely under-capitalised from the outset, with only 14% of all capital raised going to women-led businesses. Less than 15% of the UK’s business angels are women.
The drive to ‘democratise’ angel investment and open up more funding avenues to diverse businesses comes at a time when the Borders is looking to rebuild its economy following the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Scottish Borders Economic Strategy 2023 identifies a number of opportunities for growth across the region, including improving SME competitiveness, increasing employment rates and moving towards a low carbon economy.
Gillian Fleming concluded: “We want to democratise angel investing and make it more accessible to women from all walks of life. You don’t have to be super wealthy to be an angel investor, our minimum investment ticket size per person is £2,000.
"The roadshows provide a safe, supportive space for women to find out more about angel investment and longer term, we hope the structured training we offer members will help to improve diversity on boards, that more women will develop their existing business skills to support SME’s grow.”
Emily McGowan, founder of Galashiels based Advancing Eve, said: “As a female founder who struggled, and continues to struggle, to navigate the world of business capital and investment, I was thrilled to learn about the launch of Mint Ventures and their aim to support female entrepreneurs.
"Having worked with many businesswomen in the Borders, I know I am not alone in my apprehension with business finance so the organisation’s support will be a welcome addition to many.”