A Northern investment duo have launched a new angel investment network aiming to make the North of England the go-to destination for female-founded businesses seeking funding. 

Driven by research findings that female-led businesses generate twice as much revenue per pound invested, despite receiving half the capital, newly formed Lifted Ventures is on a mission to drive change in the female founder space. 

Startup funding is quoted as the biggest barrier by female founders with less than 1% of all venture funding being investment into businesses founded by all-female teams, according to The Alison Rose Review of Female Entrepreneurship report in 2023. 

To make it easier for female-led startups across the North to access early-stage funding, Lifted Ventures is creating a diverse investment community who are passionate about supporting female founders through capital, expertise and mentorship. 

Alongside creating angel investor and co-investor networks, Lifted Ventures provides full support to emerging female entrepreneurs, helping them to understand investment initiatives, the funding options available and ultimately help them become investor-ready.  

Lifted Ventures was co-founded by Jordan Dargue and Helen Oldham, who were previously known as the joint leaders of the award-winning NorthInvest angel network, and co-founders of Fund Her North, and Women Angels of the North.

The pair’s impressive track record and previous initiatives demonstrate their unique experience of building inclusive, early-stage investment capacity, angel networks and communities. Together, the duo has facilitated over £450m of funding, helped over 500 entrepreneurs and became the most active Innovate UK investor partner outside of London. 

Now, they’d like to use everything they’ve learnt to turn talk into action when it comes to backing Northern women in business, starting with a shift in rhetoric.

“Too often the conversation focuses on disparity, gender funding gaps, barriers and challenges. Lifted Ventures is focusing on opportunity,” said Oldham, a board member of the UK Business Angels Association and a member of the Women Angel Investment task force.

“One of our main aims is to educate and inform investors on the proven business benefits and greater economic returns which result from supporting female-founded businesses.”

In aid of this, she and Dargue have developed a series of angel education programmes designed to provide prospective, new and seasoned angel investors with the tools and support needed to make better-informed decisions when it comes to investing in early-stage female-led businesses.

“We understand that female-led businesses and women angels need tailored pathways to ensure that they’re successful,” said Dargue. “The education programmes we’re developing aim to provide investors and founders alike with the practical resources and knowledge they need to ensure success. 

“Ensuring they can access the right pathways of support, collaborating and leveraging the power of our community is the only way to accelerate change, especially in economic headwinds.”

Lifted Ventures is officially launching the business with an event at the Shine Workspace in Leeds on the 29th February 2024, supported by The British Business Bank. “

‘No More Talking’ is aimed at anyone within the investment community interested in learning more about the business benefits of backing women and making a lasting change to the female founder space.