“That’s it, I’m starting a movement”, Nabta Health Founder Sophie Smith shared earlier today voicing her frustration about the lack of funding going to female founders and the lack of progress made on LinkedIn after yet another conference panel discussing “alternative funding options” for female founders.

And start a movement she did! Enter #2022FemaleAngels, an initiative to find and connect 2,022 female angel investors in MENAP by the end of 2022.

Curious? We’ll let Sophie Smith explain herself what #2022FemaleAngels is all about and most importantly how YOU can get involved!

Reposting with Permission from Sophie Smith’s LinkedIn Page:

That’s it, I’m starting a movement.

After yet another panel discussion at GITEX GLOBAL about why it’s so hard for women to secure funding, and what some alternatives to mainstream investment could be – crowdfunding, grants, NGOs, blah blah blah bleurgh; why should there be one system for men (angels, VC) and one for women? – I have decided to start a movement.

The big gap in funding for female-founded companies is at Pre-Seed and Seed stage. By Series A, founders have traction and revenues to back them up, but at the “it’s all about the potential” stage(s), women lose out every time.

Cue some stats:
📈 According to Crunchbase, more than 125 startups have secured VC funding in the UAE this year. Of these, only 9 have at least one female founder, and 0 are exclusively female-founded.
📈 In Q1 2021, 97% of VC funding in MENA went to male-led companies, 1.5% went to co-led, and 1.5% went to female-led.

Most reports on this topic highlight the lack of female angel investors as an issue. People invest in people they can relate to, right?

So, the movement is #2022FemaleAngels. That’s 2,022 female angel investors in MENAP by the end of 2022. 2,022 active, visible, female angel investors. I can’t do a lot about VCs, but angels I can help with.

Inspired by Zubair Naeem Paracha, all angel investors will be added (or will ideally add themselves) to this sheet: https://www.menabytes.com/angels/

I have an enterprising little sister who just started at the University of Oxford. I don’t know about you, but I’d like the stats to be very different if/when she starts pitching for investment in four years’ time.

Get involved

Are you a female angel investor investing or looking to invest in MENAP? Add yourself here and have a look at the angels added so far.

A dedicated mini-site tracking #2022FemaleAngels’ progress over the next year is in the works.

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