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Study finds investors are more diverse than ever

Enterprise Research Centre

7 November 2014

UK business angel investors are increasingly likely to be women, more ethnically diverse than ever before and fully supportive of the crowdfunding revolution, Enterprise Research Centre research suggests.  

As part of a ‘Nation of Angels’ study commissioned by the UK Business Angels Association (UKBAA), Deloitte, BVCA, Barclays and the Centre for Entrepreneurs, more than 400 angel investors were contacted – the largest inquiry of its kind conducted in the UK. 

The study’s interim findings, published this week, revealed that although only 14% of angel investors questioned were women this was nearly double all previous estimates, which set the figure between 5-8%. Similarly, the ethnic composition of UK angels was more diverse than expected. While the majority of investors are White British by ethnicity, almost a quarter (23%) are not. 

The research, conducted by the Enterprise Research Centre, also disclosed the growing popularity of Crowdfunding among angel investors. Up to a quarter (24%) of people surveyed had invested in them. Younger investors are more likely to find them attractive – half of the people who had invested were under the age of 45. 

Professor Mark Hart, Deputy Director of the ERC and a member of Aston University’s Economics and Strategy Group, said: “Angel investors are a crucial part of the market place for fast-growing small businesses and this research shows their growing diversity and their willingness to work in partnership with other funding platforms.  This is an important new development for small businesses seeking external finance for growth.” 

The study also highlighted a growing level of investor confidence in their investment portfolios. More than 50% of investments are showing reasonable to high growth, with only 9% reported to be underperforming. 

Launched in 2013, the £2.9m Enterprise Research Centre is a national and international focal point for research, knowledge and expertise on small and medium-sized businesses. The Centre, which is joint-funded by the ESRC, BIS, Innovate UK and the BBA, is currently involved in the ‘Nation of Angels’ research project with the UKBAA to identify the level and impact of investing in the UK. 

The UKBAA is the national trade association for early stage investment in the UK, representing and connecting all those involved in financing the growth of start-up businesses. 

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For further media information, please contact Jonathan Garbett, Aston University Communications on 0121 204 4552 or j.garbett@aston.ac.uk.  

Notes to Editors 

The ERC is a partnership between Warwick Business School, Aston Business School, Imperial College Business School, Strathclyde Business School and Birmingham Business School.