News story

Women in innovation: research reveals barriers and opportunities

New research reveals how women’s business ideas are as strong as men’s but just 1 in 7 innovation funding applications are from women.

New research reveals how women’s business ideas are as strong as men’s but just 1 in 6 innovation funding applications are from women.

A £200,000 funding competition for women with innovative business ideas has seen unprecedented demand.

The Women in Innovation Awards is a women-only competition offering investment and mentoring support. The aim is to encourage more women to apply for innovation funding. This will help them get their ideas off the ground. It will also help them develop entrepreneurial and business skills.

Why apply to the infocus Women in Innovation award?

Why apply to the infocus ‘women in innovation’ campaign?

Innovate UK is running this competition as part of its wider infocus campaign. Innovate UK devised this campaign following an analysis of funding applications it had received. This showed that:

  • there is little difference in the quality of applications submitted by women and men
  • just 1 in 7 applications (14%) for funding were from women

Innovate UK analysed 8,566 funding applications received since 2013. This research reveals that:

  • the health and life sciences sector has a higher level of applications from women (17 -29%)
  • Northern Ireland had the highest proportion (20%) of applications submitted by women
  • the West Midlands had the lowest number (9%) of applications from women

Women in innovation: research data (PDF, 130KB, 4 pages)

31% of female innovators feel that being a woman in a male-dominated industry has affected their career in a negative way

Women in Innovation research report by Ebiquity

Innovate UK also commissioned extra research by Ebiquity. This showed that 31% of female innovators feel that being a woman in a male-dominated industry has affected their career in a negative way.

infocus ambassadors

Some of the most successful female innovators in the UK are backing the infocus campaign. These include:

  • Deputy Team Principal of Williams F1, Clare Williams
  • investment manager Nicola Horlick
  • entrepreneur and investor Sherry Coutu CBE
  • Facebook VP EMEA Nicola Mendelsohn
  • science and technology broadcaster and women in tech champion, Maggie Philbin
Published 13 August 2016