Backing female led businesses

Barclays’ Investing in Women Code Commitments

How we're backing female entrepreneurs

At Barclays we’re committed to helping female entrepreneurs to start up and scale. We’re connecting them with the investment and support they need to grow. Through initiatives like our Female Founders Forum partnership we’re creating networking opportunities and initiating thought leadership to level the playing field, so that many more female founders can succeed across the UK. 

My hope is that we continue to see more female-led businesses thrive in the UK and that it will become one of the best places to be a female entrepreneur.

Hannah Bernard

Head of Business Banking

Our Investing in Women Code Commitments

Barclays is a founding signatory of the HM Treasury Investing in Women Code, a commitment from the financial services industry which was launched in 2019 to improve female entrepreneurs’ access to tools, resources and finance. Barclays has announced a series of three-year commitments to provide ongoing and meaningful support for female entrepreneurs.

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1. Helping 100,000 women across the UK to start up and run businesses

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2. Connecting female-led businesses with the finance and support they need to succeed

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3. Providing skills for this generation and the next to help them into entrepreneurship

Female Founders Forum: Inspiring Innovation

Female Founders Forum Resilience and Recovery report front cover

The Female Founders Forum was founded in 2016 in partnership with The Entrepreneurs Network, to address a specific problem informed by academic evidence: why too few women-led businesses reach the same economic scale as that achieved by male-led companies. Through its work it encourages, supports and promotes female entrepreneurship.

Our latest report

Inspiring Innovation report delves into the gender funding gap in five key industries – GreenTech, Life Sciences, FinTech, E-Commerce, and AI – all highly innovative and tech driven sectors that can help boost the UK’s health, wealth, environment and productive output.

The report suggests that there are four main barriers that may be preventing female-led businesses from starting up or reaching their full potential: access to equity finance; underrepresentation of female students in STEM subjects; unequal household and childcare responsibilities; and limited access to networks and mentoring opportunities.

Female Founders Forum thought leadership report archive

You can download copies of all of our thought leadership reports below (PDF format). 

Resilience and Recovery found that female entrepreneurs had been hit harder by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here and Now revealed that the share of funding to women-led firms has doubled in less than a decade, and that equity-backed female-founded businesses were just as successful as male-led businesses

Mentoring Matters made the case for better access to networks and mentors to ensure female founders can thrive.

Untapped Unicorns shed light on the gender funding gap. 

Two women stood in front of a city skyscraper