BCRS Finance Director Caroline Dunn and Head of Business Development Andrew Hustwit.
Black Country business loan provider BCRS Business Loans has reinforced its commitment to supporting the advancement of female entrepreneurship by making a pledge to the Investing in Women Code.
The Investing in Women Code is a commitment backed by the UK Government to support the advancement of women entrepreneurs in the UK by improving their access to the tools, resources and finance they need to achieve their goals.
The Code was established after the Rose Review of Female Entrepreneurship identified a lack of funding as one of the most significant factors holding back women from scaling their businesses.
As a signatory to the Investing in Women Code, BCRS has committed to a culture of inclusion and to advancing access to capital for women entrepreneurs. BCRS will achieve this by helping to increase access to finance and support for female-led businesses. In 2022-23, 16% of BCRS’s total lending was disbursed to female-led businesses. In 2022, 15% of SME employers were female led.
The organisation’s commitment to gender diversity also extends to its leadership and lending teams, with 50% of its executive directors and 57% of its lending team being women. Overall, 61% of the wider team at BCRS is comprised of women.
BCRS Chief Executive Stephen Deakin commented: “At BCRS, we believe in championing female-led businesses and empowering women to be successful business leaders. Funding should be equally accessible to all business professionals regardless of their demographic.
“The percentage of our loans awarded to female-led businesses is increasing year on year, and we will continue to explore ways to continue this growth.
“Together with other signatory firms, we are committed to working to make the UK a great place to start and grow a business by advancing female entrepreneurship.”
Signatories to the Investing in Women Code include angel investment groups, venture capital and growth investors and high street banks.
All have pledged to support equality in their organisation’s interactions with women entrepreneurs and adopt internal practices that aim to improve female entrepreneurs’ access to the tools, resources and finance they need to grow their businesses. They must also provide data on their organisation’s investing or lending activities.
The Rose Review 2023 found that a record high of more than 150,000 all-female founded companies were created in 2022. However, underfunding is preventing many women-led businesses from reaching their full potential.
According to the review, £250 billion could be added to the UK economy if women in the UK matched men in starting and scaling businesses.