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British Patient Capital signs the Investing in Women Code

Press release 07 March 2023

Today, British Patient Capital has signed the Investing in Women Code, committing to support the advancement of female entrepreneurship in the United Kingdom by improving female entrepreneurs’ access to finance in the venture capital sector.

Led by the Department for Business and Trade, signatories of the Investing in Women Code commit to creating an attractive environment for female entrepreneurs in the United Kingdom. As part of British Patient Capital’s ongoing work acting as catalyst for a more diverse venture capital sector, the business has committed to promoting female entrepreneurship by:

  • Nominating a member of the senior leadership team to champion equality in access to finance
  • Increasing the transparency of its data on engagement with female entrepreneurs
  • Adopting internal practices to improve the outlook for female entrepreneurs

British Patient Capital has signed the Code as one of the first Limited Partners to do so, and as a direct investor, joining 198 existing signatories. This announcement builds on previous work by British Patient Capital to back a diverse range of founders. A recent independent evaluation of British Patient Capital found that it has influenced fund managers’ consideration of, or approach to, equality, diversity, and inclusion in their investments.

More than a quarter (27%) of the companies in BPC’s Future Fund: Breakthrough direct investment fund are female-led businesses. These include health tech platform Proximie, led by NHS surgeon Dr Nadine Hachach-Haram; Oxford Quantum Circuits, led by Dr Ilana Wisby; and Nucleome Therapeutics, led by Dr Danuta Jeziorska.

The Investing in Women Code Annual Report 20221 found that venture and growth capital had one of the largest gender gaps in funding across financial investment. Nearly two-thirds (64%) of pitch decks for venture capital funding in 2022 were received from all-male teams, with only 12% coming from all-female teams. The report highlighted the significance of the Code, noting that in 2021, 34% of venture deals made by signatories were in companies with at least one female founder, compared to an industry average of 24%.

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Breaking down structural barriers is vital to empowering this and future generations of female entrepreneurs to start and scale their businesses. As the largest UK investor in venture funds and the most active later-stage investor in UK deep tech companies, we are sending a clear signal to the market by becoming a signatory of the Investing in Women Code.

We will continue to be focussed on building a portfolio that reflects the full range of entrepreneurial talent that the VC sector has to offer and contribute to building an ecosystem that will be more diverse in the future than it is today. While progress has been made in recent years, far more needs to be done and we look forward to playing an active role in unlocking the full potential of the UK’s female entrepreneurs.

Catherine Lewis La Torre CEO, British Patient Capital

When the Rose Review of Female Entrepreneurship was initially published, it identified that access to funding was critical in encouraging more women to found and scale successful businesses. The Investing in Women Code was launched specifically to address this funding gap. That is why it is fantastic to see British Patient Capital become a signatory of the Investing in Women Code. British Patient Capital already has a strong track record of backing women-led businesses with significant potential. We hope that this will now drive even greater diversity within their portfolio and that their actions will inspire others to adopt funding policies that help female founder teams from across the UK realise their full potential.

Alison Rose Author, Rose Review of Female Entrepreneurship, and Group Chief Executive Officer, NatWest

Further Information

Notes to editors

About British Patient Capital

British Patient Capital Limited is a wholly owned commercial subsidiary of British Business Bank plc, the UK government’s economic development bank. Its mission is to enable long-term investment in innovative firms led by ambitious entrepreneurs who want to build large-scale businesses. Launched in June 2018, British Patient Capital has more than £3bn of assets under management, investing in venture and venture growth capital to support high growth potential innovative UK businesses in accessing the long-term financing they require to scale up. Find out more about British Patient Capital.

British Business Bank plc and its subsidiary entities are not banking institutions and do not operate as such. They are not authorised or regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) or the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). A complete legal structure chart for British Business Bank plc and its subsidiaries can be found on the British Business Bank plc website.

British Patient Capital makes commitments and invests on its own behalf and on behalf of third-party investors whose investments British Patient Capital manages.