Investment competition announced for West Midlands-based female-led SMEs - Business Leader News

Investment competition announced for West Midlands-based female-led SMEs

Henrietta Brealey, CEO of Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce

The region’s best women-led SMEs and start-ups will have the opportunity to pitch to a live panel of investors in a competition hosted by Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, NatWest and the British Business Bank.

The Women Entrepreneurs Pitch Competition will see female entrepreneurs secure the opportunity to showcase their business to the likes of Mercia Asset Management, Midven and SFC Capital.

As well as being able to directly pitch their business to those actively looking to invest in local businesses, one firm will be named as the panel’s ‘One to Watch’ and winner of the competition.

The event is taking place at a Birmingham city centre venue on 7 December.

To qualify to pitch to the panel, businesses must be female founded or co-founded and demonstrate clear growth potential.

Henrietta Brealey, CEO of Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, said: “We are delighted to be launching this competition with NatWest and the British Business Bank.

“We look forward to leveraging the networks and knowledge of our expert team and partners to bridge the gap between women entrepreneurs and investors looking to work with high potential businesses in the region.

“For ambitious female founders in the region, this is a fantastic opportunity to pitch to investors both on the panel and in the audience as well as grow your profile and network.

“As a member of the NatWest Women In Business Taskforce for the region, I’m proud to be working with fellow advocates for female entrepreneurship in making this event possible.”

    According to The Gender Index, just 13 percent of West Midlands-based companies receiving angel investment and just 2.5 per cent of those receiving VC investment so far this year are female-led.

    The Women Entrepreneurs Investment Competition is delivered in partnership with the NatWest West Midlands Women in Business Taskforce – a meeting of collaborators to discuss, design and then deliver tangible outputs to ‘move the dial’ on challenges currently facing female founders in the region.

    Harinder Kunor, Ecosystem Manager at NatWest, said: “In 2020 NatWest released the Springboard to Recovery Report, which included a commitment to establish regional taskforces to support growth across the UK.

    “The aim of the regional taskforces is to work in collaboration with local and regional partners to identify ways to stimulate a strong and sustainable SME recovery in the post Covid-19 economy.

    “The taskforce works collaboratively to provide SMEs with information and support required from all members to help transform and grow businesses.

    “It can also act as a vehicle to align policy asks on the ground from SMEs are reflected in conversations at a national level by feeding into the National Taskforce.”