HSBC launches US$1bn lending fund for female entrepreneurs

HSBC

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  • Female-led businesses often overlooked for funding and support
  • Participants gain access to a full programme of support including access to networks, financial knowledge and visible role models

TO break down the barriers and inequality faced by female business leaders when scaling their business, HSBC has launched a $1bn Female Entrepreneur Fund, alongside a comprehensive programme of support, called HSBC Roar.

Access to funding remains one of the biggest hurdles for female entrepreneurs in the UK. Female-founded businesses received just 1.4% of the €23.7bn1 invested into UK start-ups in 2021, and only 2.7%2 of venture capital goes to female-led businesses.

Female-founded companies performed 63%3 better than their male equivalents, so it’s imperative that access to funding improves, allowing women to scale their businesses and grow.

Without funding, there is a significant impact to the UK economy, stifling local, regional and national growth. Deloitte estimate that assistance for female founders could provide a £100 billion boost to the economy over the next 10 years.

The aim of the HSBC Roar Programme is to break down the barriers female entrepreneurs face when scaling their business through increased financial knowledge and access to insights.

The programme includes:

  • A series of educational masterclasses with focused sessions such as connecting with suppliers, driving sustainability and expanding internationally. Hosted by renowned female leaders including Juliet Elliott Brown, Enter the Arena, Edwina Dunn, The Female Lead, and Paula Quazi, Smol in the UK.
  • Tailored networking with major companies in each region and relationship building exercises.
  • Personalised funding support for female entrepreneurs from an experienced HSBC banker, access to insights from the investor community, and access to AllBright’s network of female leaders and business role models.

Following a successful pilot in 2021, the programme has been carefully constructed with feedback from a range of female leaders, along with support from HSBC’s partners, including AllBright, a global careers network for women.

Applicants can register their interest at https://www.business.hsbc.uk/en-gb/campaigns/female-entrepreneur-fund.

Sam Cooper-Gray, Global Head of Market Strategy at HSBC Business Banking, said: “We are delighted to launch the Female Entrepreneur Fund and the HSBC Roar programme today to help address the challenges and bias that female leaders face.

“The level of funding received over time by female-led businesses is significantly lower than male counterparts, while the recent impacts of the pandemic have seen these same businesses disproportionately affected. Female-owned businesses are also less likely to have global networks, meaning international expansion can prove particularly challenging.

“As the global economy continues to rebuild from the impact of the pandemic, small and medium-sized businesses will continue to be the bedrock on which our economies and local communities are built, meaning we need to ensure that those led by women are given the support to fulfil their full potential.”

Stuart Tait, Head of Commercial Banking, HSBC UK added: “We are very pleased to be launching the Female Entrepreneur Fund and broader HSBC Roar programme today. This package offers female entrepreneurs both the access to finance as well as the infrastructure needed to leverage the capital required to take their business to the next level.

Female-owned businesses play a vital role in the UK economy, driving growth, inspiring innovation and creating jobs. Without access to lending, female leaders are unable to scale their business and grow, impacting the UK economy and stifling growth as we continue to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.”

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