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Startup Guides Published:  Jan 16, 2023 5 min read
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Female founders: top networks and VCs to boost your success

There are more networks supporting female entrepreneurship than ever before. Through education, mentorship and community, female and non-binary founders are gaining the support they need to create more equality in business. Check out these organisations that are changing the game.

Enter the Arena

Gain the support and skills you need to get funded with Enter the Arena – a network designed to get startup funding into the hands of inspiring female founders.

Community is built into everything Enter the Arena offers, so you’ll never be short of the network, mentorship and connections you need to thrive. There are programmes for founders at every stage of the journey so it doesn’t matter whether your startup is still an idea or you’re about to raise series A.

Enter The Arena is made up of: 

  • The Fundraising Academy with its own community support as part of the course
  • The Arena – a peer advisory group for female founders, to support women with the challenges of scaling their businesses and developing as leaders
  • Female Founders Fly – a 500-strong private community for all high-growth female founders  

Don’t let the statistics on how little funding goes to female founders hold you back. If
you need to raise investment, you’ll never get there unless you put yourself out there and ‘enter the arena.’ Support from your peers and those who are slightly ahead of you on the fundraising ladder is essential to help you overcome those fundraising challenges. Empower yourself with the strategy, skills and support you need. Fundraising is tough, and it’s even tougher to go it alone.

Julia Elliott Brown

Founder,

Enter the Arena

Where to start:

1. Discover your Investability Score™ to measure how attractive you are to potential investors  and increase your chances to secure funding.

2. Listen to the Fundraising Stories With Female Founders podcast to be
inspired and encouraged by the journeys of other women who’ve raised
investment.

3. Read RAISE: The Female Founders’ Guide to Securing Investment. This is your essential toolkit on the step-by-step process of doing a funding round.

 

Dive deeper: check out our complete guide to startup funding to discover your funding options and understand the different stages of funding you’ll move through.

Female Founders

Female Founders creates equal opportunities for entrepreneurial women in the European tech and innovation ecosystem. This is what they offer to get you funded, informed and feeling fierce:

  • Startup accelerator
  • Leadership accelerator
  • Consulting
  • Events
  • Job platform
  • The F Fund venture capital fund

Female Founders has something for everyone, including women who aren’t founders but want to nurture their entrepreneurial mindset, so you can get other women on your team involved too.

Female Founders Forum

A group of some of the UK’s most successful female entrepreneurs, The Female Founders Forum is a project created by The Entrepreneurs Network, which bridges the gap between entrepreneurs and policymakers to support innovation in the UK. They produce cutting-edge research and campaign for policy change. 

Stay on top of the latest insights and news in the world of female entrepreneurship by subscribing to the Female Founders Forum newsletter and reading their Inspiring Innovation report.

Female Founders Rise

Female Founders Rise provides connection, networking, resources and expertise to female and non-binary founders, giving them the support that they need to scale their businesses. 

Female Founders Rise shares education on funding and how to get ready for investment. In 2023, they’re planning to work closely with VCs and angel collectives to facilitate intros and networking. 

What to expect when you join this community:

  • Masterclasses on funding options
  • Pitch deck reviews
  • Networking events
  • Investor intros
  • Weekly newsletter with valuable resources
Emmie Faust Business Growth Services

The challenges that we face as women running our businesses can be different – so it’s good to be around others that have shared experiences and can help. If we are to make a meaningful contribution to the UN Sustainable Development Goals around gender equality, then having dedicated help for female founders is a necessary step in achieving that.

Emmie Faust

Hatch Enterprise

Hatch Enterprise supports underrepresented entrepreneurs, helping them to launch businesses through tailored support, community and partnerships.

They’re on a mission to level the playing field by bringing together more founders from underrepresented backgrounds. More than 70% of founders in their core programmes are women and more than 60% of founders in their core programmes are from minority ethnic backgrounds. 

Hatch enterprise helps founders in a number of ways:

Doing a funding round?

We can help you start and close your round faster, more affordably and with expert support by your side.

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Hotbed and Spice Startups

Sister companies Spice Startups and Hotbed are spicing up the startup world with all kinds of spectacular support. Their programmes are open to all founders and they especially encourage underestimated founders to join their community. All the support they offer is free so they can reach as many talented individuals as possible. 

Their mission is to create an even starting line for founders worldwide. They do this by providing the most efficient tools and resources to get top startups and scale-ups funded faster. Their resources include:

  • Live training programmes
  • Events 
  • A global network of relevant peers and investors
  • Growth tracking
  • A value-packed Youtube channel (where you can also catch our very own SeedLegals CEO and co-founder Anthony Rose discussing valuation).
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The phrase “be so good they can’t ignore you” is especially true when it comes to startup success. The statistics around women getting funded are disheartening, but focusing on how the cards are stacked against you won’t help you close your round. Put everything into creating a product people love, and mastering your communication skills. Take advantage of all the support that is currently available. There are incredible resources available now for founders, so reach out and ask for help as much as you can.

M.A

Co-founder & CEO,

Hotbed

Impact Accelerator- Female Founders

Future Business Centre’s accelerator, Impact Accelerator- Female Founders, provides a dynamic six-month intensive programme to help you start and grow your business. They help women-led startups that solve economic and social problems.

They focus on helping you move through the challenges brought on by the equity financing gap (including alternative ways to fund your startup) and provide a range of support, including: 

  • Expert-led workshops (from marketing and operations to fundraising and investment)
  • Mentorship and coaching tailored to your startup’s needs
  • A community of founders to collaborate and grow with 
  • A pitch day specifically curated for impact-driven funds and startups
  • Alumni benefits, including exclusive discounts and free co-working days

The best part? This programme is completely free. 

Playfair Capital’s Female Founders Office Hours

Founders get an opportunity to meet with investors for one-to-one mentoring and pitch meetings at Playfair Capital’s  Female Founders Office Hours created by Playfair Capital. This initiative runs twice a year with the intention to help solve:

  • the lack of funding and support for women founders in tech
  • barriers to accessing investors, particularly outside of London

They focus on solutions like improving access to funding, supporting remote efforts so geography isn’t a barrier and bringing founders and investors together. Check out their awesome resource centre on the FFOH Notion page. 

Weekly events for founders

Learn from leading experts at our free online events for founders. Sign up for the Events Newsletter to get event updates.

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Women of Wearables (WoW)

Women of Wearables is a global community of women in tech that offers mentorship and educational programmes. Their goals are to educate their community, create more jobs, support female founders in building and scaling their businesses and enable members to access funding more easily. Their activities include:

VC firms investing in female founders

Want to pitch to the right investors? Here are some VC firms focusing on investing in women-led startups:

Talk to a SeedLegals expert

Need a simple way to create legal contracts for your startup? No problem. Want to make your funding round as fast and affordable as possible for you and investors? Maybe you need help with R&D tax credits, share option schemes or SEIS Advance Assurance –  we’ve got you covered.

SeedLegals combines support from field experts with automation to make starting and growing your business easier. Book a call to find out how we can help.

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