The founder and CEO of an investment firm has announced that they will actively look to invest in more female-led technology projects within the £25 million Capital Growth Fund for scale-up’s the company will be launching later this year.
Steven Morris, Founder and CEO of ESM Investments follows the recent pre-launch event of the Stirling-based fund where Stewart Carruth, Chief Executive of Stirling Council, who has championed the development of the new fund, told investors that he thought the lack of females involved in digital and technology developments was ‘scandalous’.
The firm is currently involved with Network 90, Bellrock Technology and Art Retail Network.
The collaborative fund, the first of its kind in Stirling, will seek to back innovative growth and scale-up companies across Stirling, Scotland, UK, and potentially internationally. The fund will look to provide amounts from £500,000 – £2million to high-growth potential and digital technology businesses that have struggled to access capital to support further development.
Steven Morris, Founder and CEO, ESM Investments said:
“Gender bias in digital and technology innovations is something as an active investor, and as a representative of others, we have a keen interest in.
“Roughly 20% of our current investment portfolio has female leadership but there is absolutely no reason that couldn’t be 50%, 60% or more in the future. These businesses have benefited from incredibly talented and driven female entrepreneurs that are hugely passionate about success and know how to achieve it. It is something that as an investor we absolutely look for and need to see.
“I want to see more female involvement in digital development and leaders of technology businesses. It is something I deeply encourage, and with the right business attributes, we would be totally committed to back.
“Our portfolio to date has focused on strong businesses with clear strategies led by both male and female entrepreneurs. It is also clear that it has significantly benefited by backing female leaders of technology initiatives and that is something we will be actively looking for within our new fund”.
Jude Cook, Chief Executive of ShareIn, a company which ESM Investments has supported, said:
“It is disappointing that there remains such a low number of female tech entrepreneurs. I have not experienced problems personally but would encourage women to set up businesses in this exciting area. My partner and I were very fortunate to get early support from ESM Investments.
“I think being female has helped us build a diverse team, with 70% of the company also being female. We need to encourage more women to get involved in all aspects of technology and not to be afraid to enter the male dominated tech start up world”.
ESM Investments is a boutique investment firm established in Stirling providing investment and business consulting for technology and scale-up companies connecting entrepreneurs together.