Only one in ten of the fastest-growing startups in the UK have women founders, new research has found, highlighting the issue of access to funding for female entrepreneurs.
According to the study, compiled by gathered by data firm Beauhurst and investment site SyndicateRoom, 12pc of the 100 companies which had increased their valuation most since 2015 had been set up by women.
Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, Luciana Lixandru, a partner at venture capital fund Accel, said: “Women should help women and men should help women as well. Part of my career has certainly been due to the fact I have a very strong support network of men around me.”
These new figures come days after a report revealed that 93pc of investment in startups goes to male entrepreneurs. In the wider business sector, around one in five British companies are run by women.
In the data compiled by Beauhurst and SyndicateRoom, three technology companies topped the list of the 100 fastest-growing companies.
Energy challenger Bulb led the list of fastest-growing businesses with 350pc growth in three years, followed by fashion search engine Lyst (135pc) and biotech startup ReViral (59pc).
The 100 most bullish startups generated over £1.7bn in collective turnover and 14,000 staff in the last financial year, researchers have claimed.
Technology startups make up the vast majority (73pc) of the 100 fastest-growing businesses. However, despite the growth of technology hubs in Glasgow, Manchester and Cambridge, around three quarters of the companies on the list are based in London.
Researchers warned that Brexit could hamper further growth of the sector if it impacts future funding.
Francesca O’Brien, head of private markets at SyndicateRoom, said: “It’s always great to see such a wide array of exciting companies leading the nation – but there is some cause for concern. The UK’s historical status as Europe’s tech hub is based in part on the easy access London startups have to VC [venture capital] financing .
“Brexit is happening, and it’s already affecting the level of funding available for our homegrown businesses. If the UK wants to remain at the edge of innovation, we need to find a new way to collaborate.”
Earlier this year the EU’s investment arm shut down funding to British startups in a move that deprives young technology companies of a key source of financial support.
Chancellor Philip Hammond has said he is prepared to give extra firepower to the British Business Bank in the event that the European Investment Fund stops backing UK investors in the long run.
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