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Douglas calls for specialized investor structure for female-run businesses

The need for an enabling environment where women entrepreneurs can secure funding and investment was advocated during the 2023 edition of the Wintrade Global Summit…

The need for an enabling environment where women entrepreneurs can secure funding and investment was advocated during the 2023 edition of the Wintrade Global Summit held at the London Stock Exchange, London UK, Monday.

International law and finance expert, Dr Jennifer Douglas, who was amongst a host of panelists addressing the day one theme: “Show Me The Money” during the three-day summit, said women also need successful strategies to access resources and structures focused on assisting women-owned businesses.

“Some female business owners have had success through locating female-run investment companies and angel networks.

“These firms can benefit from the specialised assistance and resources that these organisations, which have a particular focus on assisting women-owned businesses, can offer,” Dr Douglas said.

Dr Douglas, the founder of the Gede Foundation, was nominated for the Wintrade Global Award under the Woman Icon of the year category.

The award ceremony, which celebrates the 25th Anniversary milestone of the Annual Summit of the Women In Trade event for 2023, is ongoing with scheduled events in three (3) locations of the London Stock Exchange, Lloyd’s of London and the London House of Lords, for 13th, 14th and 15th of March, respectively.

The panel, with focus on the topic: “Investment & Funding”, agreed that a variety of effective tactics have been employed by female company owners to get capital and investment for their enterprises.

Using their networks and cultivating connections with possible financiers, partners, consumers, or mentors is a crucial strategy.

In order to do this, the panel discussed the need for entrepreneurs to use their personal or professional networks as well as join or establish platforms, communities, or groups that link them with other business people or investors who share their interests.

Dr Douglas, explaining some successful strategies that women entrepreneurs have used to secure funding and investment, said making a solid business plan and pitch with solid supporting data that expresses the value proposition and competitive advantage of their goods or services is an effective tactic.

She said women business owners have proven to be adept at identifying their target market’s requirements and preferences as well as at setting themselves apart from other enterprises.

Dr Douglas, who made the list of 100 Most Reputable Africans, January this year, said in order to negotiate the funding process and advance their entrepreneurial skills and knowledge, women entrepreneurs must also look for mentorship and support.

“Securing finance and investment also requires developing credibility and trust and women entrepreneurs have achieved this through keeping their word, demonstrating their accomplishments or results, communicating clearly and frequently, and being open and honest about their risks and obstacles,” Dr Douglas elaborated.

The London Stock Exchange, in its part, said it hopes that with the help of the Wintrade Global Women In Business Summit, there can be a co-creation of a better future for female entrepreneurs and build a more sustainable environment for the growth and success of their businesses.

The LSE agreed that the impact of women in business on the world’s economy is undeniable. LSE cited recent research, which stated that women-owned businesses contribute over $8 trillion to the world’s economy.

Despite this fact, women still reportedly face many challenges such as a lack of access to capital, unfair regulations, and limited access to resources.

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